Posts Tagged ‘technology’

 

Analysis of Gartner’s “Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2009″

Thursday, October 16th, 2008 by

gartner_logo This week, Gartner, Inc released their list of the top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2009. This information stems from research performed within the Technology sector and factors in their client and research feedback. This list, released at the Gartner Symposium ITxpo, is considered to be potentially “disruptive to your environment or market in some way,” says Gartner analyst David Cearley.

While I sometimes find some of Gartner’s commentary on trends in technology a bit conservative and missing other critical data, this 2009 list does represent current trends that I have seen and mirrors many of my own expectations. Just last week, TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington declared that Web 2.0 was dead. I think that many of us have already moved well beyond Web 2.0. My view, for some time, has been that Web 3.0 (for lack of a better term) will be a combination of Integration and Standards and the coupling of the two, with other enabling technologies such as Cloud Computing providing the necessary lubrication. We saw the term “mashup” become prevalent during the past year or so, where companies sought to integrate similar services (or even disparate ones) in a new service delivered via the Web. A could of quick examples of this is evident with the numerous Twitter services that use Twitter data and either present this data in different ways or full integration into other services, or the advent of Yahoo!’s Pipes.

Key to Integration is making the connections easier through the use of public APIs. As more companies expose their API’s to developers, the wheels for integration become even more greased. This is all fine and good provided that these API are carefully documented, but more critical is that APIs must adhere to some sort of standard. Unfortunately, the “standards” requirement is a lot harder to require and maintain. At a recent Cloud Computing Interoperability meeting that I participated in, most attendees agreed that Standards are a huge priority, however, defining these standards would be a daunting task to undertake. But this interop was a clear step forward by the leaders in the industry towards defining these standards. If you step back a few years, you could view Web Services as a precursor to the API movement we see now (API’s are a subset of Web Services), and XML standards helped to propel the acceptance of Web Services and Integrations in general.

I feel that those companies who are currently working to aggregate (or integrate) various API’s into their business model are well positioned to be the ones who can help drive these standards. Case in point, GoGrid has a public API and recently signed up various Cloud Aggregators (such as RightScale, Appistry and GigaSpaces). These companies use a variety of other Cloud Infrastructure providers within their management services. The more that I thought about it, the more I realized how important these Cloud Aggregators’ roles are in driving some Cloud standards. They have views into all of their partner API’s and can easily find similarities and differences between these API’s. Any API’s that these aggregators come up with themselves are one step closer to a standards-based API that could potentially be generic enough for use by many if not all providers.

What is also interesting, is that this concept of Integration and Standards actually does apply to our current World Financial Crisis as well. We have a bank and financial institution pandemonium with mergers seemingly occurring daily. These institutions will need to integrate diverse systems in order to succeed and the government will be forced to derive some standards to govern their vested interest in these institutions. Sure, this is a fairly broad application of these terms in this comparison between Web 3.0 and Finance, but the ideas are similar.

But back to the Gartner predictions for 2009. First, we need to take off our rose colored glasses here. Any time you make a prediction, the odds are that you could be wrong in the long run. I realize that this is a bit pessimistic, but just look at our Economy right now. There were plenty of naysayers who told us that we were going down the wrong path, but we still proceeded ahead, ignoring these predictions. Technology trends are no different than Economic ones; you can make an attempt to predict based on the past however, the difference here is that technology seem to be a lit less volatile compared to the economy.

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Financial and Technology Markets are “Cloudy”

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008 by

Perhaps that subject was not strong enough. The Financial Sector is currently weathering a hurricane, recently suffering the largest drop since 9/11. Merrill Lynch fell into the hands of Bank of America. Lehman Brothers is in bankruptcy and looking for a buyer with Barclays buying some of their assets. The Airline industry is failing. AIG and other financial companies are looking for some sort of an economic bailout. HP is eliminating 24,600 jobs. And this was all over just a few days. If one extends the look a bit further, the perspective is just a grim: gas prices going up, the dollar losing value and housing going down. One simply cannot be surprised by any of this.

Source: e*Trade graph of Dow Jones on 9/16/08

The Tech Sector is getting hammered as well, but this time, it isn’t “our fault.” The Dot Com bust managed to drag down the other sectors last time, but we learned our lesson. Long gone are unproven businesses and their associated models. Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors are taking long looks at business, not just getting in the car for a drive but doing a full check under the hood, looking at the road both ahead and behind and fully vetting the drivers and passengers. To get money as a start-up is truly an accomplishment nowadays. You have to have a proven business model, installed user base, and a clear direction of where your company and your industry will go.

I recently attended TechCrunch 50 which showcases 50 startups and allows them to present their business or service to a panel of experts. I saw about 1/2 of the companies’ presentations and I noticed that the companies where they couldn’t articulate or prove their monetization strategy, these companies got an earful of criticism from the experts. Similarly, at a meetup in San Francisco, the question asked every presenter is “How are you making or going to make money?” It’s a very simple question, but one that must be answered or the company loses credibility.

Perhaps we should apply these same simple questions to the Financial, Housing and Airline Industries? I guess the markets are already doing that.

It will take a long time before all of these markets start to recover, and corporations and businesses are currently challenged to prevent the hemorrhage of money and capital expenditures within their IT infrastructure. I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal called “Cutting Tech’s Energy Bill” by William M. Bulkeley that discusses how large companies are looking at ways to cut electricity usage within the Enterprise. With energy costs directly and indirectly rising, it’s critical for the embattled IT manager or director to make fiscally sound and environmentally responsible decisions to keep their business moving forward will simultaneously ensuring that their technology progresses.

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Come See GoGrid at StartUp SF – new SF meetup on April 30th

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008 by

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area tomorrow (April 30th) we hope that you can attend StartUp SF, a meetup designed to help you “kickstart your startup.”

StartUp_SF_Logo_150w

Speaker and Demo tables

Jonathan Cobb – Founder/CTO of Kiptronic (http://www.kiptronic.com)

Topic – “Genesis of a Startup: from Concept to Company”

  • Early Validation — Before you start in earnest, you might wonder — What makes a good idea? Is yours worth pursuing? How do you size your opportunity?
  • Covering the Basics — A handful of best-practices recommendations for general company administration: corporate formation, capital structure, legal, accounting, etc.
  • Building the Core Team — How do you attract talent at this very early stage? What kinds of players will you need pre-funding? Post-funding?
  • Market Validation — How do you execute to prove you have a winning idea? What milestones make sense for your business?
  • Fund Raising — When should you raise money? Who should be your target funding sources? How much should you raise? What are common investment terms?

Demo table companies: Triggit, Askpedia and MotivePath. Also come see a demo of GoGrid, a definite “must have” for any startup.

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Introducing StartUp SF – San Francisco’s newest Technology MeetUp

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008 by

StartUp SF LogoServePath, the people who bring you GoGrid, is pleased to announce the latest and greatest meetup in the San Francisco Bay Area: StartUp SF. As regular attendees of meetups around the Bay Area, we have experienced first-hand what we think works and what people are looking for, so we have partnered with Orrick to bring you a new technology meetup, specifically designed to help “kickstart your startup!”

The format for this meetup is simple. Socialize, hear how other successful companies got that way, see demos of products, meet with venture capitalists, and generally have a good time.

You and your technology friends are cordially invited to inaugurate the StartUp SF Meetup on Wednesday April 30th, 6 to 9PM at the spectacular offices of Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe, 405 Howard Street, San Francisco.

Speaker and Demo Table details:

Jonathan Cobb – Founder/CTO of Kiptronic (http://www.kiptronic.com)

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