No silver lining for desktops in cloud revolution


23 Sep 2010

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The head of an Irish geo-spatial database firm, eSpatial, has told a major US technology conference that the growing consensus is that the future of computing is bound to cloud computing and sluggish desktop applications will become a thing of the past.

eSpatial’s Philip O’Doherty told the LIGeoCloud conference what he believes will be necessary for GIS companies to weather the cloud computing storm.

Speaking at LIGeoCloud 2010 in Washington, DC, US, the eSpatial CEO discussed his vision for cloud computing and SaaS GIS and the implications on the GIS industry.

O’Doherty discussed the effects of cloud computing on the GIS industry and focused his attention on SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) and cloud computing and how his belief that they will be the dominant delivery method for geo-spatial capabilities in enterprise and line-of-business information systems.

The rise of the cloud

Elaborating on his presentation title – The Rise of the Cloud = the Demise of the Desktop – he explained the accessibility, lower cost and flexibility that comes with SaaS GIS makes it the likely candidate to take over from “today’s incumbent desktop solutions”.

O’Doherty placed emphasis on the need to “weather the cloud computing storm”, and said that “GIS companies will have to stop thinking like software companies and start thinking and acting like service providers”.

“In order to be successful, ‘GIS as a Service’ has got to do more to bridge the yawning gap between consumer mapping applications and traditional corporate GIS,” he continued, on what he believed was necessary to move from traditional on-premise solutions to offering GIS software purely as a service.

eSpatial’s SaaS GIS combines elements of consumer map products with all of the analytic and management capabilities of a GIS and all the benefits of a cloud computing solution.