As is often the case, Dion Hinchcliffe's latest post contains thoughts and concepts way above my pay grade, but "How the Web OS has begun to reshape IT and business" should be required reading for CIOs and vendors struggling to adjust to the everchanging world of IT.
Hinchcliffe takes a look at many of the trends that we have all be blathering about over the past couple of years and arbitrarily categorizing as cloud or utility computing, or Web 2.0, and pulls them all together under an umbrella vision of sorts which he terms the "Web Operating System." This is a conception of the Internet that includes all facets of processing and connectivity and draws them together as pieces of a larger whole. There is no cloud versus SaaS versus PaaS; there is a spectrum of information processing and distribution functions which rely on the same underlying backbone and conceptions of data portability and economies of scale.
Nothing he mentions will come as any great surprise to anyone who has been keeping up with current events in IT, but the way Hinchcliffe presents the concepts may help some who have otherwise been overly focused on the trees at the edge pull back and see the broad swath of the forest looming behind them. This is the entry I'll be mailing to clients and correspondents who blithely insist that IT departments can continue on with business as usual, that the only obstacle right now is the recession, who think cloud computing is a fad or that desktops will continue to predominate in both personal and corporate computing.