November 06, 2007

Short on Storage, Long on Cycles: The commoditsation of IT

Simon Wardley

  • 70% of effort is spent on “undifferented heavy lifting” – providing common utility services to software projects
  • Commoditisation: yesterday’s “hot stuff” becomes tomorrows “boring”. new=>leading edge=>products>utility service.
  • Nick Carr: “As IT becomes ubiquitous and common, it has no strategic value”
  • 2 Major trends emerging: Software As A Service; Utility Computing
  • Xaas (X={Software (salesforce.com);Framework (Ning, BungeeLabs); Hardware (EC2/S3, XCalibre)})
  • How do you deal with the risk of depending on an external provider?
  • Ideally, should be able to move from provider to provider (Fungibility of infrastructure)
  • The freedom/portability to move from one service provider to another
  • OVF – open VM format. First step towards support for this
  • (invention+discovery)>idea>innovation->commodification->common.
  • Predictions:
    1: Adoptions of commodity XaaS will grow with standards and open source – creating a competitive market.
    2: An increase in innovation in the web space
    3: More disruption in information-dependent markets
    4: XaaS will lead to organisational change because of the different methodologies needed for working at either end of the commoditisation scale
  • Fabbing (3d printing): fabathome, reprap – open-source 3d printing hardware/software – starting to become commoditised
  • Threadless – commoditisation/consumerisation of t-shirt design
  • Likely to see a greater participation of the consumer in the web space
  • Photo printing – didn’t stop with utility providers; consumers now print their photos at home. Could this occur in the web space? Tribler/Retroshare – community, P2P based infrastructure with built-in reward mechanisms
  • Web 2.0: Bad name. Fails to focus on the underlying trends. Suggests that the web has a Roadmap (web 3.0…8.0). Technology is just an enabler; web 2.0 is all about the public having more and power at their disposal to innovate and disrupt existing business models

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