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Archive for May, 2008


80% of IT Infrastructure in the cloud by 2015?

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.