Saturday, February 19, 2011

Buzzwords: Cloud, Mobile, Social

The list of the hottest buzzwords in the industry would certainly include Cloud, Mobile and Social. The impact they each of these have is immense, and when combined they practically are changing our lives. In early days of the web applications (even dynamic websites) the notion of cloud based computing was not as popular as it is now. People had to predict their infrastructure requirements and allocate large budgets upfront for hardware and networking. This meant considerable amounts of funding money (for startups) going into silicon chips and their families. In the last half a decade that has changed dramatically. Scaling applications without budgeting upfront is not just possible, but is being done everyday by so many.

The lowering of upfront costs for startups and the means to handle traffic on shoestring budgets are really empowering entrepreneurs across the spectrum of applications. Large on-demand platform providers like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce are leveling the playing field for funded and bootstrapped companies from the technology platform perspective. You can write a data intensive application and actually demo it to a prospective client or launch it publicly without raising much capital.

Mobiles are getting smarter by the quarter (month maybe?). The most recent ones like Motorola Atrix and Samsung Galaxy S II are comparable to Intel Atom based mini laptops from hardware perspective. And on top of it mobiles like Atrix allow you to dock the deice with keyboard, mouse and monitor for a desktop experience. Or take a laptop shell and dock the Atrix for a laptop usage. Same will come out of Samsung and other handset makers very soon. Our working environment thus really shrinks into our pocket. Take your work with you in your pocket, plug into your office keyboard, mouse, monitor and work there. This is again a game changer in the industry.

The last point, social is something which most of us understand better. Being social is a basic human quality. Word of mouth has always worked with us. Now on the web, content that is share-worthy becomes famous. People who are domain experts are becoming our online help-desks. Even corporates are reaching out through social media to the wide audience. But social is yet to touch a few sectors which it should. Like banking, which is still a number based industry. Banking could move to a more social form, where transactions are noted against people, not numbers. Even in its current forms if you join cloud, mobile and social, you immediately get a glimpse of a future that is driven by applications which cater more to "me" and "us"; and are available wherever we need them. The browser is the window to the world. And the browser is mobile, more customized and richer than ever.

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