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Cloud Expo: Article

Did the ‘Neophiliacs’ Build the Cloud Service Model?

This is the time of both the tech start-up and the industry behemoth

This post is sponsored by The Business Value Exchange and HP Enterprise Services

There's an inherent sense of almost forced innovation that appears to pervade the information technology industry. As we constantly push forward into perpetual cycles of reinvention, continual enhancement and augmentation after augmentation, one almost has to stop and ask what's wrong with the software and systems that we have at our disposal today?

If a ‘neophiliac' (don't worry, it's not rude) can be described as a person with a personality type characterized by a strong affinity for new things and an ability to adapt well to extreme change, then perhaps it is the neophiliacs who built the new style of IT model that we appear to be hurtling towards today.

Note: The terms itself was coined by Christopher Booker in his book The Neophiliacs (1969).

The neophiles hate tradition and routine such that they quickly become bored with longstanding elements of any kind in their lives.

If we look at the ‘new style of IT' today where cloud, mobile, Big Data analytics and open platform computing leads the way, the foundational elements of these technologies already existed way before they were renamed as such with their industry buzzphrase-friendly new monikers. Perhaps it was the neophiles that wanted this relabeling to occur; and perhaps they are driving the next wave of computing too?

The neophiles are quickly getting bored with open mobile cloud-based Big Data streams though. Very soon these guys (and girls) will need to turn to even newer computing paradigms. They are already up to speed with touch and are closing in fast on gesture-based (i.e., non-touch hand waving movements, etc.) computing as we speak. That's okay though because touch and gesture both feed the Big Data dragon, so the global technology roadmap is moving ahead in the same direction in this sense.

Also happily cloud-driven from a Big-Data-feeding mobile technology point of view is contextual computing. Although not perhaps as ‘open' as it could be, contextual computing speaks of devices that understand the individual user and their environmental surroundings by virtue of technologies including geolocation and human-computer interfaces (HCI) such as the new Google Glass head-mounted display (HMD) innovation.

Esteemed tech commentator Robert Scoble blogged this month in a piece entitled "Why Google Glass Matters to Rackspace and Developers" saying that Google Glass is going to drive the need for a new kind of cloud computing. "If Google Glass is as big a deal as I think it will be, humans will generate much more data than they do today; either because of sensor tracking to do things like play location-based games, or do health tracking or more."

Where do we go from here? The most likely answer is that some of this might be hype, but not that much of it. Yes the global IT industry might have jumped on the term ‘cloud' as if the networked architecture model never existed, but new data management tools and methodologies are coming to the fore within cloud virtualization frameworks that are genuinely ‘new' in almost all senses of the word.

This is the time of both the tech start-up and the industry behemoth. For every big scale multi-national consolidated IT vendor, there is an equal balance of community driven small innovators. It's a good time to be in technology, but there's no need to wish away today in search of tomorrow. The neophiliacs are bored with today and can't abide legacy systems and this is wrong; we have much to build on now and the next wave of computing will (obviously) be even better.

More Stories By Adrian Bridgwater

Adrian Bridgwater is a freelance journalist and corporate content creation specialist focusing on cross platform software application development as well as all related aspects software engineering, project management and technology as a whole.

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