Hey, You! Get on Google's Cloud!

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2008-06-11 Print this article Print

Google is running into some interesting challenges as it continues to wend its way through the cloud-computing-will-replace-on-premises-software rhetoric.

Google will be the first to say that on-premises software is not going away. To overtly suggest otherwise would be to say that Microsoft, SAP, Oracle and the lion's share of old-line software makers are going the way of the dinosaurs.

Interesting then was the way Google Enterprise Product Manager Rishi Chandra positioned Google's march into cloud computing at the Enterprise 2.0 show in Boston yesterday.

He noted that innovation in enterprise apps during the next 10 years will happen on the Internet, aka in the cloud. Not "most innovation," just "innovation," implying that all innovation will occur in the cloud.

Practically in the next breath, he said on-premises software is not going to go away.

Later at the show, I had the chance to throw some of Chandra's words back at him to see what would stick. My argument was this: If companies don't innovate, they die. So, if Chandra says the cloud will be the place for innovation, that doesn't leave much room for the old-line software leaders, does it?

The next logical leaping point is that Microsoft, SAP and Oracle will burn out and fade away.

Chandra clarified for me. "There's going to be legacy systems that are going to be around for a very long time. Some companies still have mainframes. If it works ... Companies have invested millions of dollars in this infrastructure, so it's not something they're going to turn on a dime. But I think you're already seeing the on-premise[s] players looking at the cloud and figuring out ways that their application would look better with the cloud. But most organizations are stuck with what they have today, but slowly it's going to trickle over and it's not going to trickle over in a day, or a year, or even two years."

True enough. Microsoft, Oracle and SAP are all trying to squeeze out apps for the cloud. But Chandra and Google's real sentiment is easy to read; Google is already there, and while those vendors are still grappling with how to iterate in the cloud, Google is galloping away with the market.

"What I should have said was that the most compelling applications will happen in the cloud," Chandra said.

No need to clarify, Chandra. We read Google loud and clear.

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