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December 2009

Telco names Cloud as Megatrend in Telco industry

Thursday, December 03, 2009 Category : , 3

Optus CEO, Paul O’Sullivan, has named Cloud as one of the four Megatrends in the telecommunications industry.

The statement came during a speech to members and guests at the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) CEO Vision Series on the 1st of December. The full text of the speech is available.

The four megatrends listed were:

  1. Explosion in bandwidth. Example was given in Optus, where mobile device speed is now 20 times faster than in 2005 and where in the last 2 years backhaul capacity has increased 6 fold.
  2. The increasing processing power of handheld or smart devices and the associated revolution in how information is presented on touch screens.
  3. Government policy around the world focussing on upgrading national fixed line networks to create 21st century high speed broadband highways. Already Sweden, Finland, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Singapore and New Zealand have committed to drive NBN rollouts. NBN's can take people from their current 12MBPS to 100MBPS and ultimately 1GBPS.
  4. What the IT industry has christened as "The Cloud". The previous 3 megatrends combine to drive something that "is shifting the whole approach to delivering communications This exponential explosion in bandwidth allied with much smarter devices, means that we will all be able to access intelligent computer applications hosted centrally – in large data centres - wherever we are."
I think it's significant for Cloud, under whatever definition, to be listed as an outcome of the proceeding three megatrends. These are not statements by some nutty blogger, or ideas about interesting shifts in IT, this is the CEO of a major carrier listing "megatrends". I suspect "megatrends" are not thought of lightly and thrown around by CEOs without good reason and analysis (well lets hope not).

Some take away items on this are:
  • The network is a key element. My definition of Cloud as "Elastic Network Services" highlights that and over the last 12 months the 3 pillars have held up very well. Its right for Network, in all its forms (Private, Internet and Mobile) to be a key element.
  • The Mobile space is something to keep an eye on. Whenever I present on Cloud I always mention mobile access as part of the network access as a long term future element. My example is my sixteen year old son who would inject his iPhone into his DNA if possible. When he enters the work force in 5 years time he is going to demand to use mobile technology as his access device to personal and corporate services at the same time. In 5 years time the processing power and bandwidth available on a mobile device will be more than the branch office worker at a desktop computer had just five years ago.
  • VMware may just be onto something with their whole mobile virtualisation vision with MVP. Most people I speak to on MVP just don't get it, but I think its because they are not looking far enough ahead. We are after all talking about the three to five years here. When you take the elements I have been describing and the "megatrend" of mobile device capabilities MVP has real legs. If you want to see the incubator of this look at the Netbook market.
The last word is probably best taken from the speech, where on Cloud O'Sullivan stated.
The impact of [Cloud] will exceed what the creation of the mobile phone did for us.
Some food for thought.


P.S. This is worth a disclaimer that I do work in the Cloud space and that the company I work for is a wholly owned subsidiary of Optus. Of course my access to Paul O'Sullivan (POS) and access to what he thinks really goes no further than being able to look him up on the internal staff directory. I also bet he does not read my blog. I read this on the Internet just like everyone else.

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