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Saturday, October 02, 2004

Future of Software In Enteprises by Chris Thomas -Intel

Ed Sim, the well known venture capitalist summarises Chris Thomas perspective about Future Of Software In Enterprise Chris' view is that we are moving towards a service-oriented world, where enterprises can tap applications and resources on demand and on the fly. Large vendors are nowtrying to trademark their specific vision on the service-oriented world (N1, on-demand, etc.). Anyway, despite the hype of SOA (service-oriented architectures), it is beginning to happen, it is real, and it is still early. As we move into this world of SOAs, there will be tremendous opportunities for software investment as enterprises consolidate, modularlize, and virtualize their data centers. Chris highlighted the 5 buckets or themes that mattered to him:
1. Software and data delivered as services-think ASP model, think modular, software components that perform a specific task, which can be used as building blocks and combined with other components via web services to solve a specific business problem
-this will be the new way to build software and go-to-market
-he gave an example of how AT&T used a combination of hosted software vendors and their APIs to deliver an order routing solution for a customer in 2 weeks instead of 9-12 months
-a side note - as we move into an increasingly global world, no need to worry about software piracy since you can't steal a service but you can steal sofware

2. Hardware as a virtualized resource
-view hardware as one set of services
-manage capacity on demand
-new hardware=new software opportunity

3. Autonomic data sources (RFID, tags, smart sensors)
-Chris gave an estimate that an average retail store could have up to a terabyte of data from RFID alone
-think about the opportunities here to process, filter, store, and understand all of this data
-how will all of this data flow through the network in an optimal way?-once again, more investment opportunities in software

4. Occasionally connected usage
-performance of offline and occassionally connected usage much better than always-on
-opportunities include power, performance, software that works online and offline (go to back to theme #1 above, ASP model)

5. Services cross firewalls (security)
-if we move to this service-oriented world where partners, machines, and applications access data on the fly, there will be tremendous need for security

Chris' bottom line was that asynchronous XML messages are what makes this service-oriented world possible.Most enterprises are experimenting with various aspects of the above themes but far from prime-time in terms of deployment.We are just at the beginning phases, a new architecture is needed - most of the service-oriented talk from many of the large tech vendors is still a pipe dream and more marketing than fully functioning product.I agree with everything that he wrote, and would add that if you really believe XML is the core lingua franca between apps then look for opportunities to pre-process XML. Of course, if Cisco has it's way they'll pre-process XML in their routers.That would define architecture very differently and adds interesting possibilities to defining enteprise usage of Software.
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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"