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Perspectives on Open by Tim O’Reilly and Their Implications on Cloud Computing

Tim O’Reilly, Founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, recently presented the following keynote at the OpenCourseWare (OCW) Consortium Global 2011 Meeting held in Cambridge, Massachusetts earlier this month.  OCWC Global 2011 is hosted by the OpenCourseWare and the Office of Educational Innovation and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,  OpenCourseWare at Tufts University, and the University of Massachusetts, Boston.  The OpenCourseWare Consortium event consisted of three tracks including the Impact of OCW; Producing OCW; and Next Generation Open Learning.

This is the type of conference that Tim O’Reilly excels at being a keynote speaker for, as many of the conferences and publishing initiatives of O’Reilly Media focus on open source software and open courseware development.

Here are several key take-aways from his keynote:

  • Watch the Alpha Geeks.  Screen scraping apps have led to the development of Web Services, wireless community networks predict universal Wi-Fi and open source software is a predictor of greater collaborative development.
  • Open source needs a more rigorous methodology than traditional development tools. The key to effective open source application development is a rigorous and replicative methodology.  This extends to Web Services that seek to unify cloud computing apps as well.
  •  Trends of commoditization, customization & collaboration accelerating. Three trends he sees impacting software include commoditization of low-end processes, user-customization of systems and architectures, and network-enabled collaboration, which are all catalysts of cloud computing growth and adoption.

Bottom line:  Open source serves as a strong catalyst for cloud computing vendors to escape commoditization by creating applications customizable to users’ needs, including support for real-time collaboration with immediate and extended teams.

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