Home → Magazine Archive → October 2019 (Vol. 62, No. 10) → The Cloud as an Innovation Platform for Software Development → Abstract

The Cloud as an Innovation Platform for Software Development

By Michael A. Cusumano

Communications of the ACM, Vol. 62 No. 10, Pages 20-22

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Since the early 2000s, advances in networks and virtualization technology have made Web delivery of software applications possible on different types of hardware and software. As a result, we have seen increasing use of Internet or "cloud-based" servers as the primary way organizations and individuals use software applications (see "Cloud Computing and SaaS as New Computing Platforms," Communications, April 2010). Many software developers have continued to build applications using hardware-based operating systems. Today, however, the trend is clear that cloud-based services have become a new platform not only for using software applications but also for building them.

In addition to hardware-based operating systems such as Google Android, Microsoft Windows, Apple's iOS, and Linux, now we must include Amazon Web Services (launched in 2006, initially to sell Amazon's excess computing and storage capacity), the Google Cloud and App Engine (launched in 2008), and Microsoft's Azure (launched in 2010) as popular platforms for applications development. But cloud computing as an applications development platform did not occur overnight. The evolution occurred gradually as the cloud service vendors began opening up their proprietary infrastructures to third-party software engineers who wanted to build new applications and use tools or services specific to those hosting environments.a


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