Would you consider cloud computing the next disruptive technology for the geospatial tech sector? In an article published by ZDNet, the author, Ric Telford, explains that, in general, cloud computing " is not a disruptive technology in and of itself, but a disruptive IT delivery model which leverages key technology ideas (like grid computing, utility computing and Software as a Service) to deliver IT in a much more efficient model. Because of this, cloud computing has undeniable characteristics of a truly disruptive innovation."
If we look, then, at the geospatial tech sector, cloud computing may become disruptive in the way we deliver and store data, at least at first, followed by applications. Geospatial technology is a notorious data hog and as such continuously fighting for more storage. While today we look for technologies that will compress and then decompress data (think, LiDAR point clouds), the future may present us with better, cloud-based options, especially from some of the satellite data providers. And why wouldn’t they become a cloud provider for all data, not just remotely-sensed information?
Also, as we discussed yesterday in our podcast, we understand that IT managers do not have the bandwidth to "do it all." Because of the shift of geospatial technology management from the backroom and siloed fiefdom of the geospatial techy to the CIO, the CIO now has to outsource some services that they may have once believed to be solely under their control. It’s just makes better business sense to move some services to the cloud.
Telford believes that cloud computing is "an effective service acquisition and delivery model for IT resources, and if properly implemented within an overall technology strategy, cloud computing can help improve overall business performance while controlling the costs of distributing IT resources to the organization." The point of departure for me about this statement is that I don’t believe most IT departments have thought this far ahead. I think Telford may be right, but which services move to the cloud and which are better managed internally will be a battle fraught with both political and technological significance.