Mobile device wars are irrelevant, it's all about the data, stupid

Years ago I remember reading the frustrated comments of venerable, former Intel CEO Andy Grove, lamenting how powerful his microprocessors were becoming, but that selling PCs running on them was increasingly difficult.

There was really no reason for consumers and businesses to trade up. Software innovation was woefully behind hardware innovation and until it caught up, computers with high-speed chips inside would be like driving Ferraris in rush hour traffic.

What a difference a few years can make.

We have been tracking a fascinating trend that's worth examining further, and far more closely. The data deluge gripping the enterprise and consumers, which will signal a marked shift from application specific platforms to the data itself acting as the platform.

This is a significant shift that goes part and parcel with the pace of innovation in hardware and software, and those who recognize the shift today will be in a far better position tomorrow to integrate it successfully across their IT platforms.

The New York Times recently cited research by an independent White House advisory group of scientists and engineers showing that far more performance gains in computers nowadays come from tweaks in software rather than changes in microprocessors.

Detractors of this theorem will claim that software innovation comes simply as a result of faster, more powerful chips.

That debate has never been more important than today as key trends begin to shape the current and next generation of computing.

Apple's App Storehas ignited a proliferation of software programming development the likes of which the tech industry has never seen before.

Smart phone growth is leading to an explosion of data available anytime, all the time, and from anywhere. Cloud computing is redistributing where and when we can store and access data.

The data itself is far more complex and chaotic than it used to be: Tweets, blogs, email, video clips, music and digital entertainment, and more of that is either HD, 3-D, or complex audio algorithms.

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