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Google may struggle in an Apple world, says Forrester CEO

Microsoft and Google IT models are out-of-date in the 'App Internet' age

Google could struggle in the new technology landscape that has been crystallised by Apple, according to George Colony, CEO and founder of analyst group Forrester.

Colony described the emergence of the "App Internet", which will increasingly replace the Web as we know it.

Colony also warned IT organisations and enterprise architects in particular not to over-commit to the cloud. It is appropriate for some users but "it will not be the dominant architecture," he told Forrester's European Forum in Barcelona.

"Cloud makes us go out to the network for something they have locally," he added.

With processor power and storage capacity developments outstripping those of the network, Colony suggested a new IT model with a powerful data centre at the core, with apps on multiple devices at the periphery pulling data as required.

He suggested that both the old Microsoft and Google models were outmoded. Microsoft, with its focus on the desktop, does not leverage the power at the data centre, said Colony. Google's model, with everything in the cloud, does not leverage the growth in power and storage at the periphery, he added.

The Apple revolution was to redefine how to distribute and use software, said the Forrester founder, but he added, this happened more by luck than judgement.

Colony cited Apple CEO Steve Jobs' initial reluctance to allow third-party developers to write Apps for the App store. It took the company six weeks to do a U-turn and to create a model that has revolutionised the technology industry.

In a set of controversial predictions, Colony suggested Google could struggle in the emerging App Internet era, as could Facebook, because both were exclusively focussed on the existing Web.

Major software vendors such as Oracle and SAP would thrive or struggle depending on how quickly they adjusted their technology and business models to the new environment. Some SaaS vendors, such as Salesforce, had grasped the App Internet model and pushed out products to use it.

Others would struggle to do so, he said.


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