At VMworld 2017, Matt Eastwood, SVP of IDC’s datacenter, cloud, and developer research groups met with TechRepublic’s Conner Forrest to discuss how the future of enterprise infrastructure is changing the roles of admins and IT leaders.

“We moved from this period of where everything was fairly solid, and there was a deep expertise in compute and storage networking,” Eastwood said. Today, we’re at a point in time “where it’s really becoming about a continuum of applications and data services that are aiming to redefine companies digitally.” This creates a new type of application set that requires a different type of infrastructure.

SEE: The cloud v. data center decision (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

For admins, it’s not only about knowing what’s happening in the data center, but also what’s happening in the cloud, he added.

“It’s really, again, getting back into a phase where they’re in the driver seat, and they can control this journey and enable the change that needs to happen in the business,” he said.

Rather than waiting and getting frustrated with IT leaders, admins need to start leading these types of conversations and discussing what a new infrastructure will look like, what new technologies around cloud mean for the data center, or what acceleration means to a data center.

“Eventually, we’re going to be living in a world where we literally think in resource terms…and that’s how we’ll start to define our IT,” he added.