Cloud, SaaS and The Consumerization of IT

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I wrote a guest column for GigaOm on how open source software, cloud and software as a service are helping to bring about the consumerization of IT: namely bringing simplicity where complexity reigned.  I cited some examples including New Relic, Box.net and Apple.

Open source has gone a long way toward putting power back in the hands of developers, who can download, install and deploy software without having to go through any kind of convoluted sales or budget approval process.  You want MySQL?  You can download and install in 15 minutes, and you don’t have to talk to anyone to do it.

Software as a service (SaaS) takes this to an even broader audience, enabling employees to get the kind of lightweight, consumer, self-serve capabilities in their job without even having to run their own servers.  Platforms like Amazon AWS, Heroku, Makara, RightScale and others put this same kind of SaaS power in the hands of developers...

My view: ease of use trumps a long feature list any day of the week. There are both techological reasons as well as sociological and economic reasons for why organizations are seeking greater simplicity.  Part of this stems from the fact that complex enterprise applications grew beyond the ability of most organizations to successfully adopt.  

Head over to GigaOm for the full post.


Whatever Happened to "Do No Evil?"

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A buddy of mine, Doug Marks, recently opened my eyes to some sites that are putting out misleading product reviews fueled by Google Ad Words.  I wrote about this on my InfoWorld blog with a story entitled "FTC and Google need to crack down on scam review sites" which provides a counterpoint to the concerns on the US FTC's blogger disclosure rules that become effective this week.

When the FTC announced that it would require disclosure of fees and endorsements by bloggers starting Dec. 1, some complained this was overkill. I have several personal blogs outside of InfoWorld, and I don't mind disclosing that I've occasionally received review copies of books, CDs, and the like. I also run Google ads on some of my blogs. All told, the money that comes in is less than the price of a decent guitar, and I dont believe I've compromised my integrity as a writer. I suspect many bloggers are similar; if they make any money, it's to fund their hobby.

This isn't just a simple case of some over-zealous fan astroturfing as happens from time to time in open source projects (and elsewhere.)  As I Googled around, I noticed these scam review sites for not just piano and guitar lessons, but exercise equipment, language learning software, vitamins, even web development tools.  So its not just an isolated incident.  Doug Marks has complained to Google that these sites violate their policies, but so far, there's been no response.  Hopefully the FTC will crack down on these sites or force Google to do so. 

To be clear, I have purchased Doug Marks Metal Method DVD Course and have no hesitation recommending it to others.  And in the spirit of full disclosure, I'm an affiliate.  I have not tried out the competing courses, but I'm suspicious of any company that engages in these kind of misleading campaigns.

Have you seen these scam review sites for other products?  Let me know.

  • Metal Method: Main site, Complete Basic Course,Speed Kills, Forum
  • GuitarVibe: Guitar Lesson Scams, Guitar Mastery, More Time for Guitar

  • Marten Mickos on Innovation Insider

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    Marten Mickos, who runs the MySQL business inside of Sun, will be featured next week on Sun's "Innovation Insider" interactive web radio show.  Marten will be talking about the upcoming Software Feedom Day (September 20), business & technology innovation, MySQL 5.1, Swedish drinking songs and more.  Best of all, Marten will be available to answer the questions you post to the show.  The show is live Thursday September 4 at 12:30 pm pacific time and will be available for replay.

    I have challenged Marten that he should do the show in a penguin suit to show our commitment to all platforms, but since it's radio, it may be hard to tell...