Opinion: Tales from the IT Edge. By Dennis Howlett

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I spend a good proportion of my time looking at the new technologies that will impact business in the next few years. I am what Stowe Boyd would call an 'edgling' - someone who doesn't operate in the mainstream but who lives on the technology edge.

I mostly don't use desktop applications but instead rely on "cloud computing" models for most the services I need. In the professional accounting world I know maybe four or five handfuls of people who operate in anything like the same way. The remainder are locked into a Microsoft-dominated world of desktop and server applications. Why live on the edge? What possible advantage can there be?

I'm a firm believer that technology drives business effectiveness. That's much more than productivity or efficiency which are pretty much done through process...

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Ummmm....let's see
@jc - have you looked at what FreeAgent is doing? If you have then you'd know, as others are finding, that it is indeed disruptive at a number of levels.

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Free advertising ..... Disruptive technology .. mmm...
Leading (bleeding) edge technologies are 'great fun' and all very well, but frankly like all things in life, you need to be aware of what you are doing. Simply using the likes of Web 2.0 because its new and without any concept of the pitfalls is a disaster waiting to happen.

A great many of those in the know are commenting that '..the very nature of Web 2.0 technology and how it is used begs for malicious software infection and is virtually impossible to secure..'

Essentially this boils down to not knowing all of your data sources and having no control over what may be served up with Web 2.0. This indiscrimate collecting of data & code which is just acquired without the normal integrity vetting for any malicious code

Technolgies such as AJAX & IFRAMES (allows content from another site to be displayed seamlessly on a page) circumvent the normal controls and compromise the user

So there we have it - first learn & understand then use the technology. Dont just blindly follow because it's the latest buzz word.

In the "cloud computing" arena, far more people use this than Dennis is giving credit for and there are some excellent models available out there. Anyway the term "cloud computing" is a generic term covering many aspects (i.e. storage, services etc) and in simple terms refers to any process available from the Web and not on the desktop; in this respect it is not vendor specific.

As for the product being promoted (thought Aweb had rules about this) being likened to 'Disruptive technology' and references to 1997 by Clayton Christensen in 'The Innovator's Dilemma'

mmmm..... this product surely falls into the category of a 'Sustaining technology' and can hardly be classified as a 'Disruptive technology' by any stretch of imagination

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