Software-as-a-Service Ship Is Cruising Full-Steam Ahead

By Eric Lundquist  |  Posted 2013-05-01 Print this article Print

The role of social networks is making inroads into traditional disclosure methods. However, the hardware associated with BYOD (smartphones, tablets, etc.) can increase the velocity of the software sitting on those devices.

While smartphone companies—notably BlackBerry and Samsung—are making it easier to separate the smartphone into business and personal communications, the same is less true for Twitter- and Facebook type services. Applying big data techniques to monitor employee social network comments is one possibility. But it's a solution sure to add to employee unease and privacy concerns.

While it might seem that cloud computing provides a boost to disaster recovery plans, that is not always the case. The interplay between in-house services and public cloud services can be complex and involves a level of development and testing that many companies are not yet ready to undertake. 

A panel on disaster recovery noted that many cloud providers are opaque in detailing where computing loads are taking place. "Many companies are not sure who really owns disaster recovery," noted Steven Manley, CTO of EMC's backup recovery systems division.  While cloud computing may indeed provide substantial disaster recovery capabilities, the old saw about disaster recovery remains true, "don't wait for the disaster to see if your recovery plans are correct."

Let me flog that ship metaphor a little more. If you are sailing off in the cloud computing ship, it would be nice to know that your crew knows how to run the machinery and trim the sails. In a panel on the cloud workforce of tomorrow, it was clear that the traditional methods of software development are changing.

GitHub, Atlassian, Dropbox and Box are trying to build platforms that make it easy to collaborate. The need to get business executives, developers and operations departments working more closely together has long been apparent. The issue concerning using GitHub and other collaborative systems is to make sure you are not merely throwing technology at a business process problem.

"The shift is to a more distributed workforce," said Tom Preston-Werner, CEO and co-founder of GitHub.

So, what are the applications that will drive new business? Applications that match social sentiment and business analytics are high on the agenda. The "Internet of Things" where digital sensors measure and monitor goods and services once encased in an analog world is another. And underpinning all those applications are cloud applications based on tying together cloud services via internal and external application programming interfaces.

Eric Lundquist is a technology analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. Lundquist, who was editor in chief at eWEEK (previously PC Week) from 1996-2008, authored this article for eWEEK to share his thoughts on technology, products and services. No investment advice is offered in this article. All duties are disclaimed. Lundquist works separately for a private investment firm which may at any time invest in companies whose products are discussed in this article, and no disclosure of securities transactions will be made.


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