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Conversations 3: Peter Coffee takes us beyond the cloud

Peter Coffee, Salesforce.comCloud computing is inevitable, according to Peter Coffee, vice-president and head of platform research at Salesforce.com. “Processing power has grown at about 25% per year, and compounded over a period of 30-some years that’s a lot. But bandwidth has grown at about 45% per year over that same period of time,” he says.

So whatever the application, no matter how complex, eventually it’ll be cheaper to process the data somewhere else, and your device — desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone — only has to manage presentation and interaction.

In this wide-ranging conversation with Coffee, we talk about why “big data” is more than a buzzword, the cultural changes that will sweep through the IT industry, and the privacy issues involved. And we digress into reminiscences about steam trains and IBM 3270 emulation.

This interview was recorded on 27 May 2013 in Sydney, Australia.

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Episode Notes

  1. Peter Coffee’s presentation “Connecting Above the Cloud”, March 2013.
  2. Slides from Peter Coffee’s presentation Connection is the Goal: A View from Above the Cloud, March 2013.
  3. Google Trends search of “cloud computing” versus “big data”. Coffee predicted that searches for “big data” would overtake those for “cloud computing”, but that hasn’t actually happened. I’ll be asking him why.
  4. The Advantages of Digital Maturity, a report from the MIT Center for Digital Business and Capgemini Consulting which showed that the higher a company’s level of digital maturity, the better its financial performance is likely to be.
  5. The Irma board, which allowed the early IBM PCs and Apple Macintosh personal computers to emulate an IBM 3270 mainframe terminal.
  6. Mary Meeker’s annual State of the Internet presentation, along with the best-of slides and the chart we mentioned showing that the age of Wintel (Microsoft’s Windows operating system running on Intel processor chips) is over.
  7. The Gaming as a Service (GaaS) solution NVIDIA GRID, where all the hard work of generating polygons for gaming happens in the cloud, with the resulting video imagery simply streamed to your device.
  8. Moore’s Law, which noted that the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years.
  9. Corning’s A Day Made of Glass conceptual videos.
  10. A BBC News report, Inside Microsoft’s house of the future.
  11. How the UN Used Social Media in Response to Typhoon Pablo.
  12. Bonus link 1: You’ll get the cloud you ask for. So ask wisely!
  13. Bonus link 2: The future of business is Lego, a Patch Monday podcast conversation with futurist Mark Pesce on somewhat related themes from August 2012.

[Website feature image: Peter Coffee, original photo supplied by Salesforce.com. Digital manipulation by Stilgherrian. Corrupted Nerds theme: Created by Stilgherrian from cyberSound by mikobunto, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license; and “Transparencies from the Outer Regions II” by Paddee and Thee, Juice Records.]

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