If you have been following this for any length of time you will know that I am a huge fan of cloud computing and the opportunities it opens up for small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and the self employed.

There are some great services out there which have the power to liberate companies and individuals from old fashioned and restrictive work practices and to enable them to compete against larger rivals more effectively. Sitting back taking stock of what has happened over the past 12 months or so since this blog morphed from the odd post on WordPress.com to a hosted resource with a post almost every day I have started to ask myself one very simple question: How many of these services can the online business world support?

It seems to me that every week there is a new service popping up over the horizon, many of them well put together but some are very much a me-too copy of existing software or services. It’s almost as though a team of developers have stumbled across a service, thought “we could do better than that” add one extra module and thinks it’s the Mutt’s Nuts (taken from an English saying The Dog’s Bollocks which means perfection, brilliant, etc). There must be something like a dozen project management and online collaboration packages on the market, all of whom have their fans and devotees and all is well providing one company does not need to interact with another.

What happens when creative design company X which uses package A needs to work alongside web design Company Z which uses service B? I recognise that X can invite Z into their collaborative circle but with different technologies, methodologies etc will it all end in tears? Developers are, naturally, protective of their pride and joy but is there a case for collaboration between competing services? Would the fact that Wizehive and DeskAway have built a bridge between their applications be a stronger selling point than offering stand alone and neo-legacy systems?

Now I admit that I don’t have the answers, but I do believe there will be trouble in paradise unless someone has the balls to start the collaborative ball rolling. Some offerings will fall by the wayside – maybe the funding dries up, maybe they’re just crap and a victim of the e-Darwin Awards syndrome!

What are your views?