Successive Eras of Business Computing 101

Mobile News Network
To meet the computing needs of 16,300 employees and contractors at Genentech Inc., Pierce took a chance and decided not to rely entirely on business software from Microsoft, IBM or another long-established supplier that would have let Genentech own the technology. Instead, Pierce decided to rent these indispensable products from Google Inc.

The Internet search and advertising leader will run Genentech's e-mail, as well as some word processing, spreadsheet and calendar applications, and it will do it over an online connection - an unconventional approach called "cloud computing."

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The dawn of the Cloud Computing Era is upon us. Finally. But we need to be mindful of from whence we came. Simplified, the succession of business computing periods can be described thusly:

1. Mainframe Era - Deployment from "smart" main computer to "dumb" clients
2. Client Server Era - Deployment from smart, nimble servers to smart desktops running Windows
3. Distributed Network Era - Deployment of computing power and applications functionality over the Internet (hint: we're living in this one)
4. Cloud Computing Era - Deployment of computing power via vast server farms and applications functionality "in the cloud" accessible by smart, portable client-side devices that are themselves interconnected, interoperable and interchangable (4G phones, for example)

We'll get to how this affects advertising in another post. Stay tuned.

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