Feeds

Clouds gathering on horizon for software devs, say wise men

'There are things to be done. I don’t know what they are'

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The software industry will dissolve into a soup of micro-detailed web services delivered over the cloud by 2022, with IT departments reduced to “guiding” users to prevent them from leaking their companies’ crown jewels onto the net.

That was the extremist version of the vision sketched out by a panel considering “The Software Industry Ten Years from Now” at the Cloud Computing World Forum yesterday, which considered how the cloud will affect the development and management of software.

Eriks Dobelis, former information SVP at Air Baltic and professor at the Riga Business School, said that services delivered by SaaS “will get smaller and smaller, focusing on a single task.”

This has obvious, and potentially unpleasant implications for people who make their living developing and/or selling massive bespoke applications.

John Harris, chief architect & VP global IT strategy, innovation and learning at GlaxoSmithKline, and chairman of the Corporate IT Forum, said:

“The accessibility of platforms means that software development is no longer such a specialist activity.”

As the “internet of things” generated oceans of data, the traditional software great and the good would no longer be in a position to dictate terms, Harris said. He cited the example of Google Maps, where it was crowdsourcing - for want of a better word - that had created many of the most interesting applications.

“There are things that can be done. I don’t know what they are,” he said, “but software will be created by the world.”

As for the IT department, he said: “We won’t be controlling. I think our job will be to guide.”

Dobelis said that it would become increasingly difficult to protect intellectual property in the form of software, with the costs of protection increasingly simply uneconomic compared to the benefit.

However, Harris pointed out that for a company like GlaxoSmithKline, protecting its core IP was an existential challenge. So, he argued, the challenge for IT departments became educating users about what to keep well away from the cloud. When it came to the “crown jewels” they had to be in “the most secure environment".

CohesiveFT CTO and Borland veteran Patrick Kerpan said that as companies give up hands-on control of their data it will have to be encrypted, so that as the hardware and the data pipes get faster, the potential loss does not represent the penalty it does today.

But Kerpan said that while companies and individuals might feel they are no longer spending a fortune on software, they will find they are handing over a fortune for their data services – from broadband, to cellular and cable.

As for the possibility of making money from the software industry, Fort Technologies' sales and marketing director Noel O’Grady quipped:

“If nobody’s buying software, I’ve got just a few years to sell my company,” before pointing out that his business was providing the tools for developers and providers to tie the myriad services together. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Bitcasa bins $10-a-month Infinite storage offer
Firm cites 'low demand' plus 'abusers'
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.