How Debates and Definitions Continue to Drive the Software Industry

James Urquhart had a great post today on the confusing definitions and debate around cloud computing, and how the every expanding definition of cloud computing is driving a sort of “linguistic acquisition strategy,” which in turn is driving industry roadmaps and product development…which will benefit the customer in the long run.

If history is any lesson, I couldn’t agree with him more. CRM experienced exactly the same fallout during the early part of this decade, when debates over end user buy-in and productivity yielded what I call the 2nd generation of CRM solutions that were molded out of these previous lessons. The result was easier to implement software, and most importantly, a focus on the basics and drastically improved user interfaces. I expect cloud computing to follow the same path.

And while Urquhart talks about the public vs. private cloud and open source vs. proprietary, in the end, discussions such as these should generate the principles that lead to improved products in the long-run for customers.

Turning back the clocks on CRM, and IT in general, it was innovators such as SaaS that helped redefine the way in which business software was delivered and looked at, and when combined with concepts such as open source (as Urquhart mentions), is what has lead us to where we are today – or at least trying to reach: cloud computing.