IEEE Internet Computing, January/February 2010, pp. 92–96

Door opening to a blue sky

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Internet-Scale Data Management

Plenty of Room Outside the Firm

by Charles Petrie

There are many ways to think about the future of computing, but to do so successfully requires looking at previous experience and predictions. My focus here is on computing rather than computers, though the increasing power of the latter facilitates the former. For example, I have nothing to say about the future of multicore or parallel computing, except that beyond the Internet, the predictions for this technology have been rather optimistic for the past 30 years. Multicore, and other near-term developments such as the Internet of Things, a smarter planet, and cloud computing, are well-described elsewhere. Rather I'm going to argue for a future not often addressed. Read more »

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Article Comments

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Very relevant Wall Street Journal article, 8 Feb 2010
"How to Succeed in the Age of Going Solo" by Richard Greenwald.
"Most successful consultants are in a network or community of consultants. These networks are important sources of new clients; most consultants, in fact, say they get as many clients from these networks as they do from client referrals. What's more, an increasing number of consultants share work, taking on bigger projects that require more hands. In this way, teams of consultants can function like a small boutique firm."
Posted on 2/8/10 6:13 PM.
I was in the midst of preparing an internal research proposal on the opportunities of open source software for SME’s for our University College (Howest, Belgium) board when I read this article. It put the whole research subject in another more encompassing context. So I am currently planning to redesign my proposal to investigate the wider economic trends this article thinks are emerging.

In our exploratory research we will investigate the theory of emergent collectives. Is it correct that the economy has reached a turning point due to an evolution in the way people and businesses communicate? Does this evolution change the rules of the business game and are the classic advantages of scale of large companies overtaken by the dynamic prowess of ad hoc collectives that consist of enthousiastic individuals or innovative SME’s, or a combination of both?

The proposed research project will investigate in how far this scenario is realistic in the European context. It will further verify if the discerned evolution is met by the IT-tools currently offered by IT-supporting companies. Open source software, mobile networks, cloud computing and Web 2.0 and 3.0 possibilities will be charted and evaluated in a business context as future bearers of a new economy.

This article indeed inspired us to give a new perpective to an upcoming research project.
Posted on 3/5/10 5:04 AM.

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