If you had to pick a winning news, feature or blog headline to garner maximum reader interest and the widest potential industry relevance these days then how about trying... Open Source Mobile Touch-Based Social Chinese Clouds.
Of the eight words in this banner, we can probably say that seven of them (excluding perhaps ‘based') encapsulate the bleeding and leading edge of the IT industry at this moment.
Keyword #1: China in your handset
Look at the facts, commercial Linux player Red Hat is pushing massively for cloud computing growth in China right now. Extolling the virtues of both its open source-based data processing and data storage capabilities; the firm is openly targeting a tripling of its current fiscal year revenues.
Red Hat is playing clever too. The firm is partnering with the international big boys including HP, IBM and Oracle in China... but it is also working with a local partner (Red Flag Software) to get around the Chinese government's restrictions on buying only locally produced software.
Keyword #2 & 3: Linux, open source and cloud
This is Linux, but more broadly it's open source. Even more broadly than that, it is open standards and with the degree of cloud computing running on open grade platforms, the future of (cloud) virtualization does indeed appear to be open source.
As an open source player in its own right, HP has just increased its support for the non-profit Linux Foundation taking it to ‘platinum' membership status. With a US$ 500,000 duty to now pay in annual membership fees, HP joins only IBM, Fujitsu, NEC, Oracle, Intel, Samsung and Qualcomm at this level.
Keyword #4: Social "collaborative" development
In an industry statement this month, HP's VP and associate general counsel for cloud computing and open source Eileen Evans said the following, "Linux is a strategic asset for all major technology companies. With our Linux Foundation Platinum membership, we will have a variety of ways to maximize our investment in Linux and **collaborative development** that advances our own business as well as greater industry innovation."
That was social, just in case you missed it.
Keywords #5 & 6: Touch the mobile cloud (and lessons for CIOs)
What lessons can CIOs learn from the above facts? The smart money is on a broad level adoption of open source technologies (where applicable depending on governance and compliance concerns) alongside progressive use of mobile devices (many of them touch-based) that share a robust connection to cloud computing services.
But hang on, isn't the Chinese connection here a little restrictive?
Well yes it was, so perhaps we should clarify. The China factor should really be the BRIC factor, i.e., Brazil, Russia, India, and China. These are the maverick growth markets of the world and these are the virgin infrastructures with fewer ties to legacy systems to stop the inevitable migration to the cloud.
Keyword #7: Cross-Platform Cross-Device Interconnectivity
Okay that's not one word at all is it? But this is an issue and it could be the next "killer application issue" if we surmount the challenges thrown up by the rapidly shifting paradigms and platforms that we have already mentioned. Windows 8 has made a clear play for the ‘desktop to tablet to mobile' space and Apple's operating systems have arguably already made more headway in this space.
Our next challenges (as both CIOs and users) could be more directly linked to the fact that we want data storage and processing compatibility across not only Apple and PC formats, but of course Android and other variants of open source in their many forms too.
There is a big complex interwoven maelstrom of platforms, devices, standards, languages and device form factors out there. If they are going to move more closely together in terms of functionality, then we really are all going to have to get along better - okay?
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This post first appeared on Enterprise CIO Forum.