Gary Allison's Leadership Blog

Effective Software Projects and Tech News04 Nov 2008 02:03 pm

This week finds me at’s Dreamforce show where a number of very interesting developments are coming to light.  In Marc Benioff’s keynote yesterday, he emphasized the role of cloud computing in the future of all application development, throwing jabs at Microsoft all along the way.  Benioff cast the cloud into these sets of services:

  • Amazon is the server plumbing and storage – their EC2 elastic computing cloud providing all the virtual servers you need while S3 provides boundless very low cost storage
  • Google is the Microsoft Office and Sharepoint alternative, offering shared applications like calendaring, documents, and spreadsheets, with the capability to share all three, plus adwords that can feed into salesforce leads
  • Facebook offers the social graph where new applications can leverage and integrate to spread virally
  • Salesforce’s is the application layer to develop business apps and tie all the above together on every platform, mobile to all browsers

This staking out of claims on the cloud computescape is a fascinating thought to me.  While I’m not sure that all other other companies would agree with the above positioning, there has never been a more exciting time to be in software development – the cost  of building a truly scalable application that can service tens of thousands of users  is truly in every developer’s reach.  I woke up at 1 am this morning with my mind racing about how the applications I and others could build!  This clearly has implications for global software development, lowering the bar for anyone in any country who has a great idea to build it out with a small team and bootstrap an effort self funded.

It also means that if you were thinking of corporate IT as a long term career, you should think again.  These services are going to consolidate into a few very large providers, at the end of the day, this is good for our industry. It allows the great ideas, the great innovations to be born more quickly, removing unnecessary barriers and hurdles.

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