CIO: Cloud Computing Will Surpass Web in Importance

Fred O’Connor, writing for CIO:

While a vision of the Internet’s future may appear murky, Nelson said that cloud computing will be pivotal. “The cloud is even more important than the Web,” he said.

Cloud computing will allow developing nations to access software once reserved for affluent countries. Small businesses will save money on capital expenditures by using services such as Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud to store and compute their data instead of purchasing servers.

Sensors will start to appear in items such as lights, handheld devices and agriculture tools, transmitting data across the Web and into the cloud.

‘Surpass’ is a loaded word.  I’ve always seen cloud computing as the next stop on the web’s evolutionary road.  The first phase, the vision, was to create an interconnected global network.  Shortly thereafter, the goal became to provide easy access to a plethora of shared resources via that network.

Now, with web technologies finally at a point where they rival those previously reserved for the thick-client computing, cloud applications are massively viable – and, to boot, offer tremendous advantages to their users (as well as their hosts).  It’s not just about sharing, it’s about the universal cloud being able to offer processing, analytics, logic and a common-man-accessible UX.

It’s been said before, but the Internet is a platform. It didn’t begin this way in the application sense, but it certainly has become the most fertile development and innovation soil for the next generation of enterprise (and, frankly, consumer) applications.

So, surpass the web? In the sense of being able to bring mature application and cloud processing to businesses and individuals, yes.  But it’s not a replacement – the use modes we see on the web now won’t go away – it’s an evolution.  Some, like me, would even argue a coming of age.

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