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How transitioning to a decentralised web will revolutionise the tech landscape

visualization of the www
(Image credit: Getty)

It almost goes without saying that the power and influence that big tech firms have, is invariably tied to the amount of data they are able to gather from users. Recently, news that MEPs in European Parliament had voted in favour of tougher restrictions on how internet users’ data can be combined for ad targeting purposes threatens to throw a spanner in the works for previously untouchable corporations. Clearly, such a move is the start of something much bigger.

As EU lawmakers crack down on tech giants like Facebook and Google, putting a series of amendments in place to draft legislation to curb their power over web users, the time has come to kick back against the dominance of tech giants in the realm of business more generally. 

Away from the more nefarious intentions of these tech giants, the decentralised web (think Web 3.0 and projects like Filecoin) aims to ‘distribute’ the cloud. This emerging movement will build services which do not depend on any centralised organisation to function, harking back to the original purpose of the internet, which was intended as a network in which individuals and businesses could all contribute equally and for the common good.

So, could a decentralised web environment mark a return to Tim Berners-Lee’s original vision – and if so, how will this disrupt the business landscape?

Challenging the status quo

First, it is important to consider how the internet has strayed from the original intent of the World Wide Web, and what this has meant for business.

When the internet was originally devised by Tim Berners Lee back in the 80s, it was envisioned as an open space. All told, at the present time the contrary is true; the internet has become a system of centralised power, governed by only the biggest tech firms who have a monopoly on users’ data. It follows naturally that the more data that has been collected by these corporations, generally equates to the increased profitability of these tech giants. As such, data gathering is front and centre when it comes to their business models.

time berners lee

Contrary to Tim Berners-Lee's vision, the World Wide Web has become highly centralized and increasingly monopolized by big tech (Image credit: Creative Commons)

While tech companies may be the likelier culprits, even supermarkets and the most unexpected organisations are utilising these insights – meaning that big data is now a driving force behind organisations big and small – but this can come at a price. In the words of Berners-Lee himself, “The web has evolved into an engine of inequity and division; swayed by powerful forces who use it for their own agendas.” 

Now, after a series of highly publicised data breaches, businesses’ monopoly on data has made individuals wary, which has fed into legislation changes in Europe – namely, the EU’s General Data Protection Act (GDPR).

For firms who rely on data collection at the core of their business strategy, it is now more difficult – both legally and from an innovation perspective – to continue along this trajectory. But that said, as things currently stand, the bigger a web player is, then the more they stand to benefit from the data amassed.

Typically, the greater influence it has, the more interesting it becomes for the subsequent users to join that player and not another one – although these platforms may be attractive to consumers at face value, inevitably, this comes at a high cost – often, the commoditisation and the violation of their privacy. Moreover, the centralisation of the data itself creates a single point of failure, should things go awry – making it easy for hackers to steal data.

Clearly, a change is in order.

The potential of decentralised architecture

The essence of a decentralised web, then, is to bring power back to the people – a shift back to the original purpose of the internet, which was intended as a network in which individuals and businesses could all contribute equally. Naturally, businesses will play a part in this.

Chief amongst the benefits of investing in decentralised architecture include improved flexibility and speed of decision making; greater protection in the face of hackers, enhanced workflows and ease of sharing information, as well as an improved ability to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses, lower costs and overheads, access to a wider talent pool, and more.

Put simply, decentralisation has the potential to usher in a new era of transparency, accountability and engagement for firms, leaving them more in control of their data than ever before.

Chris Starkey, Founder and Director at NexGen Cloud.

 

Chris Starkey
Chris Starkey

Chris Starkey is the founder and director of NexGen Cloud, which is on a mission to bring affordable decentralized cloud computing to all by creating new ways to power the metaverse. From its European headquarters, NexGen Cloud is working to disrupt the cloud infrastructure market. With data centre operations established in the Nordics (Sweden, Norway and Denmark) sourced from carbon neutral energy, the company is delivering infrastructure-as-a-service cloud computing in a more accessible manner, thanks to its competitive price point and a true decentralized source linked to the vision of the future metaverse and the web 3.0. NexGen Cloud also provides opportunities for investors to access the cloud sector, giving them the chance to share in the growth of market sector by investing in compute power. 
   

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