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Cloud Computing: Business Move to the 'Third Platform' — the Nexus of Forces

By Dick Weisinger

First there were mainframes, and after that there were PC’s.  In this progression of computing technology, IDC identifies the next phase of computing as a combination of cloud computing, mobile devices and Big Data.  IDC refers to this next generation of computing as the ‘Third Platform‘.

Frank Gens, Senior Vice President and Chief Analyst at IDC, said that “The IT industry as a whole is moving toward the mobile/social/cloud/big data world of the 3rd Platform much more quickly than many realize: from 2013 through 2020, these technologies will drive around 90% of all the growth in the IT market.  Companies that are not putting 80% or more of their competitive energy into this new market will be trapped in the legacy portion of the market, growing even slower than global GDP.”

George NewStrom, general manager of Dell’s Federal government business, estimates that the federal government could save about a quarter of its IT budget, or nearly $20 billion, if it could transition it operations to ‘Third Platform’ technology.

Al Hilwa, program director of Application Development Software at IDC, said that “This third platform promises to radically expand the users and uses of information technology, leading to a wide range of intelligent industry solutions, and to greater demand for powerful analytic and decision management services in the cloud.”

Jeremy Burton, executive vice president of product operations and marketing at EMC, said that “Most people in IT these days, their businesses have been built on this second platform.  Now, we don’t see the second platform going away any time soon, but – over the next couple of years – we [will see a] new platform and ecosystem emerging called the third platform.  The opportunity and challenge [for businesses] is to be relevant in the world of the third platform.”

Gartner’s David W Clearley agrees, although Gartner uses the phrase “Nexus of Forces” to describe the trend towards cloud/mobile/big data computing.  Clearley said that “These strategic technologies are emerging amidst a nexus of converging forces – social, mobile, cloud and information. Although these forces are innovative and disruptive on their own, together they are revolutionizing business and society, disrupting old business models and creating new leaders.  As such, the Nexus of Forces is the basis of the technology platform of the future.”

Wolfram Jost, Software AG CTO, said that “Driving the adoption of these technologies is the need for faster, better informed business decisions. Yet the real-time data, rapid scalability and fast decision-making enabled by these technologies is of little use if companies still take months or years to implement business process change…  The market will not wait. By integrating business processes with big data, the clouds and both mobile and collaborative applications, we are giving enterprises an uninterrupted rapid response service to changing market conditions.”

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