TECH TALK: Alt.Software: The Real Internet Revolution

A New Internet is being created through a convergence of developments in computing, communications and software. This Internet, termed by Forbes recently as the “Great Global Grid”, is defined by pervasive connectedness and a real-time infrastructure.

Computing Communications Software
Processing Power
Non-PC Devices
Embedded Computing
Data Centres
Web Services
Open Source
Zero-defect Software
Great Global Grid
Pervasive Connectedness
Real-Time Infrastructure

In Computing, processing power continues to increase (Moore’s Law). There is a rapid proliferation of non-PC devices like cellphones and PDAs. These devices are increasingly being connected to the Internet. Falling costs of chips are making them available in an increasing number of places (for example, sensors, which can collect and transmit specific information to a central server).

In Communications, bandwidth continues to grow rapidly (Gilder’s Law), notwithstanding the recent reports of overcapacity in markets like the US. The bandwidth increases are mainly powered by continuing improvements in fibre optics. Wireless networks are being built to create an envelope of connectivity. For example, NTT Docomo’s I-mode service launched its 3G network and cellphones in Japan earlier this week. 802.11b, and to a lesser extend Bluetooth, are helping bridge the last few feet without wires. Despite the bankruptcy filing by Exodus recently, Data centres (Web farms) are the new ‘powerhouses’, ready to serve up computing on demand. Technologies like Blade Servers are helping reduce power consumption and pack in more computing power in a much smaller space.

In Software, a new era of Web Services is dawning, with data and applications are moving into the network (the ‘cloud’). Technologies like XML, SOAP, UDDI and WSDL are making possible easier application-to-application interaction and integration, making possible the vision of software being built from Lego-like blocks from across the network. Open Source software like Linux and Apache is making an important impact and attracting a growing audience of developers. As Software is becoming increasingly mission-critical, it becomes important to have zero-defect software.

[A previous Tech Talk covered the New Internet in greater detail.]

What we saw in the last few years with the consumer Internet will seem like a trailor to what lies ahead. The New Internet will make a much deeper impact on businesses and connecting enterprises. Three points put this in perspective.

  1. Largest inefficiencies lie in interactions between enterprises.
  2. Communications and Information are critical to interactions.
  3. The Internet’s biggest influence is on business process innovation, and reducing communication and interaction costs within and between enterprises.

The New Internet will help enterprises use computing to streamline supply channels, tighten relationships with customers, cut costs and improve productivity. The Real Internet Revolution lies ahead.

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.