But to top it off, I noted that "if we scope 'cloud' to include private and hybrid deployment models, the range of suitable big-data applications is much broader." And that also describes much of the uptake in enterprise cloud computing over the past few years. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to identify any recent startup activity in the enterprise application market that doesn't predicate its solution on either a public or hybrid public-private cloud deployment model, or on a "multi-cloud" model that involves two or more public cloud solutions.
So it's clear that within the coming 10 years most customers will begin to provision most of their IT needs from cloud services. And this raises the question of whether, with all these trends pointing in cloud's favor, it's still possible that some day the trend may wane in favor of yet another new platform paradigm.
Will the spread of IoT-stoked "fog computing" -- in which data, processing, and other distributed resources are spread among trillions of edge nodes -- pave the way for more of a "peer-to-peer" or "mesh" networking model, away from the shared-service multitenant, software-as-a-service model currently in vogue?
It's not too early to start looking beyond the cloud to the next evolutionary step in big-data analytics platforms. Thinking that the cloud is the omega of IT platforms is a bit like being Thomas J. Watson, Sr.,who in the 1940s reputedly predicted that all the world would ever need would be five data-processing systems.
Here in the early 21st century, we technology professionals need to recognize that we too may have to adjust our visions as some unforeseen, disruptive, and all-consuming new data fabric takes shape.
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