General discussion


80% of IT Infrastructure in the Cloud by 2015?

By Sze Wong ·
Lately I've been in the cloud a lot. From Google's app engine,, Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (E2C), to Microsoft's Live Mesh, we hear about the cloud a lot. More and more people are signing up for on-demand applications (We, as a small business, also use on-demand applications) and almost every other IT start-up that I talked to is a Saas of this or that. So the trend is clear, the question is are you ready?

What does IT Consulting looks like in the year 2015?

At the app layer, it will be like the VB world at a massive and enterprise level. VB was very successful as a component based development platform were almost everything you need, you can buy a component and plug into your program. With simple code, you can link these components together and make your own application. What VB fails on is what we IT guys like to say, lack of scalability, security, and portability. Well, by year 2015, you are going to have a world where basic business building blocks are available online on a subscription basis. You pay $5000 a month (inflation, everybody) to use the Bloomberg stock component and $20K a month for the Google editor component, you then put them all together and create the killer stock prediction engine and sell for $60K a month.

Problems to be solved between now and then? A universal, cross-vendor, open security and data-portability model. So unless you are working in a company creating components, we general IT consultants will essentially become business consultants. Instead of solving technical problems, business consultants are there to help companies solve their business problems. Help them put these business components together in ways that they want.

Now at the hardware layer, by the year 2015, computers will likely become cheap commodities like a phone and your DVD player. In fact, every appliance will be a computer and in each house there are multiple terminals to connect to them and get to the web. Other than a simple OS, everything runs on the web. If you need a new application, you either buy it online or call your phone company, it will then show up on your screen and you can start using it. Things that are different than now: you don't upgrade your machine (get a new one), you don't install new software (they are all online), you don't install new OS (new OS's are push to you automatically) and you buy a new machine every 2-3 years.

Problem to be solved between now and then: make the OS lighter (opposite to Microsoft's direction), have high-speed connection everywhere (we are almost there), have sub-hundred dollar computers (almost there if windows is light).

Now how about general IT support, like help-desk, networking, installation, setup, etc. Support will always exist, but at a different level. By then no one will call you to setup a network in their office or setup/maintain their email server. No one will call you to backup their data either. Essentially IT support as we know it will not exist anymore. They are all controlled by infrastructure providers like phone companies and giants like Oracle, Google, etc. Businesses will no-longer have their own IT department.

Did I just say IT is dead? No. Just like every evolution step, there are things that are eliminated but more things are created, along with more opportunities and challenges.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

Everything runs on web

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to 80% of IT Infrastructure ...

Yeah right.

So I'll just plug in my surface monitor for twenty meter billets here. Down load the off the shelf app that talks to it here, add to the terabytes of info I have a legisslative requirement to store for ten years over there...

An extreme example admittedly but chosen to highlight the vast flaw in this myopic vision of our future.

All of our systems are different, because they are.

At some level this has to be a one size fits all approach. Do it at the lower level and will bloat exponentially and go cost negative. Do it at a high level and it will meet no one's requirements and go cost negative.

VB was successful because any fool could use it to bash up something that looked professional. Lot's did, mind you kept me in work after the dot com bubble burst, so it wasn't bad for my business.

Just plug in a component, say MS Chart. I'd like a a horizontal histogram. Doesn't do it, oh best write my own then......

Don't even get me started on stateful communications, security, availability, band width, and the fact that I've but my business in someone else's hands and I'm now at their mercy.

I'd concentrate more on getting my feet back on the ground if I were you.

Collapse -

It's a cloud, not a storm.

by mavpf In reply to 80% of IT Infrastructure ...

Ok, when you talk about cloud computing for business, it is already a reality. With the improvements in the tech/telecomm for the next years, it will become stronger and new business models will appears. In this case, the business IT department will pass trough changes (already started...), looking for the integration between and IT service providers. But it's all. Don't expect that the different "business building blocks" providers will talk each other. Buy a solution, don?t try to build one. It?s hard and very expensive to do it in house, try to imagine it dealing with something that you can?t change, with more than one supplier that doesn?t want to change their applications.

Maybe in the future (much more than 7 years), we can do have a standard for everything, but now, it's just a dream to me.

Related Discussions

Related Forums