I had an interesting chat with Jamie Turner from Postcode Anywhere. He was talking about My Services, the new cloud product the company had launched.
What was interesting about it was the way that it had emerged - not from the desire to introduce a new product but as a natural consequence of the company's existing business: PCA's software that it used to connect to the cloud was now being thrown open for other developers to pick at.
The phrase paradigm shift is greatly misused. When coined by Thomas Kuhn in the 60s, it was to describe the way that science progresses by rejecting previously held theories and adopting new ones that are a radical departure from those previously held, for example, the way the theory of phlogiston was abandoned after the discovery of oxygen. The term has been hijacked by marketing people when they want to announce new ideas and has lost of its allure but the use of an organisation's own software does represent a radical new departure for the way companies do business - only five years ago, that would have been regarded as PCA's intellectual property.
But then, we're in a brand new world: intellectual propertty has taken on a whole different meaning, or rather, "property" has. It seems as natural for PCA to open up its data as it was to keep it hidden previously,
Of course, PCA is not the only company doing this, but there's a natural excitement this side of the pond when it's a British firm finding new ways to work. And the point that Turner makes about data retention being permanently in the UK is a good point - that's going to be an aspect of cloud computing that is going to concern many IT managers.
PCA has plenty of bottle to aim the service at customers of Amazon and Microsoft, it will clearly be a fleabite in the hides of the big beasts but the company has displayed precisely the sort of creative thinking that makes the IT world so exciting right now. Let's have more of it.
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