Nicholas Carr: The Explosion of Apps

As Nicholas Carr, author of The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, From Edison to Google, points out, cloud computing has fundamentally changed the nature of software by moving it off the desktop and out into massive data centers with unprecedented processing power. This shift combined with the proliferation of Internet-enabled mobile devices has produced the explosion of apps that we are currently witnessing.

The app boom, however, has thus far been largely focused on the individual consumer. How can businesses leverage apps to facilitate communications, efficiency and collaboration among their employees? And what are the implications of the growth of apps on the demand for cloud computing services? Watch Nicholas Carr discuss the explosion of apps.

  1. Innovation – Beyond the Infrastructure (3:30)
  2. Democratization of Computing Power (1:55)
  3. The Explosion of Apps (2:08)
  4. The Convergence of Media & Entertainment and Software (3:08)
  5. Big Data vs. Right Data (2:19)

Cloud computing is changing the nature of software. One of the big changes we’ve seen over the last few years is the explosion of apps people download onto their smartphones and tablets. Even though you’re installing the app on your device, most of the power of those apps comes from the online databases and the online services that they tap into.

This is a new way of configuring and using software. Instead of having a handful of generic programs on your PC, suddenly, you have this whole array of very single-purpose, or narrowly-focused apps. You go from one to another to do all sorts of different things. On the consumer side, this has already changed the way people think about software, the way they use software. We haven’t seen those changes yet in the business world, but I’m sure it’s coming. Another big area of innovation is going to be, for software providers, to figure out a set of apps that companies can use for marketing purposes, for customer service purposes, and also, to aid their own employees and their partners in communicating, working efficiently, managing processes and so forth. One of the outcomes of the explosion of apps is that it will put more demands on cloud computing infrastructure, on big data centers that hold the data that supplies the services that all these apps tap into, and tap into in real-time with immediate responses. That will be a big driver of the continuing build-out, the continuing increase in our reliance on cloud computing data centers.