I participated on a panel titled ‘On the Shoulder Of Giants’ at GigaOm’s Structure 09 conference today. Among the things we discussed were:
- Pain Points in infrastructure (software, storage)
- Privacy and protection of user data
- Software and hardware stacks
It was an interesting panel but it was clear that just one of the topics we discussed could easily take up an entire day, and then some. The shortage of time made using jargon mandatory, and unless you live and breathe infrastructure every day, jargon is going to be a turn off. All in all, even though over 3000 people watched on the broadcast stream, and the audience hall was packed, I felt that we could have done more for our audience by taking the time to put the discussion into context. It was also clear that infrastructure – the guts and bits and wires that make stuff happen – is irrelevant. What people want are solutions and platforms they can build upon.
However, as service providers compete for the users, having the lowest cost platforms capable of providing good enough service is going to be a competitive advantage. This means ever more sophisticated control software, automation, cheaper infrastructure, efficiency and cost of operations. Infrastructure is going to be a competitive advantage. Again. I will further refine it by saying that the software for infrastructure is going to be the competitive advantage. For good software, you need great engineers – and most companies aren’t set up to do that, especially the telecom companies, so here is a prediction: The cloud intiatives of the telecom providers are going to come to naught.