The majority of press and pundits equate cloud to Amazon and Infrastructure as a Service, or IaaS.  As I noted in a recent blog (see The Battle for the Cloud Has Not Even Started) this fascination with infrastructure and processing power is logical, but narrow.

It happens to align to how many economists view IT – its all about Moore’s Law and how processing power/cost changes and is now more elastic. For that IT also helps describe and support what it is a company does – that is mostly missed by those press and pundits.


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The blog highlights that there are other aspects of the cloud that have yet to become that important but they likely will. And the “battle” refers to the IT vendor’s who challenge for dominance over the sectors of the cloud – now and future.

The last sector of the coming cloud wars will be different to the first three because it will be beholden to data. This is because Data as a Service (DaaS) includes not only the ability to access analytics, algorithms, data science and AI as a service, but all those nice, shiny tools all use data – data itself.

The end game will likely revolve around who has access to what data; who licenses it; who can use what. I have blogged on this data aspect a few times, especially concerning vendors who are making moves to acquire or license data such as IBM, Oracle and Microsoft.

So it was interesting to see the following article sent my way by a colleagueDo you own your data and have free rein? The answer in an Internet of things, cloud world may surprise you. This so called battle for ownership of the ultimate asset is certainly hotting up.

Just open up a newspaper any day of the week and count how many headlines on the front page of the business or company or industry sections include some article, story or opinion piece that concerns data, access to data, or how it is analysed.

It may be that some industries are “locked up” sooner then later, as a few smart firms secure access to the data that matters most, even if they don’t own the best AI engine or the best processing power. Such things will all eventually be made commodities via the cloud. But the data remains a prerequisite.

*This article is reprinted from the Gartner Blog Network with permission. 

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