The reality of organization’s IT resources (starting with SMBs) as we know it is about to dramatically change. The Cloud movement along with the new “Consumer employee” phenomenon (employee at day, consumer at night) drives organizations to reduce ownership of IT resources. Eventually IT resources free.
How is it going to work (most of the technology is already available)?
1. Server infrastructure
Entire server infrastructure will run in the cloud (pick your favorite vendor)
2. Employees workspace
Desktop virtualization will run on the cloud server infrastructure
SaaS where possible, else application virtualization on top of the cloud server infrastructure
4. Desktop/Laptop/endpoint device
That’s where things become interesting. Since your workspace is virtualized all that is needed is a device with basic capabilities to connect (e.g. browser). Now if the “consumer employee” prefers using his own cool/customized/private/latest/greatest device anyway, why should the organization buy an extra one? Instead, every several years (e.g. 3Y) the organization will grant each employee with an allowance (e.g. $3k) to purchase a personal device (desktop, laptop, netbook, tablet, etc.). While I think the real revolution is going to happen around the device ownership, I will leave this topic to my next post (stay tuned).
Information protection is going to become key in the described setup. As data will reside elsewhere (in the cloud or personal devices), controlling who can access it, who has accessed it and where is it, are going to be critical capabilities for future security solutions. Think about asset management and even identity management in this hybrid world…
I’m no prophet, by all means, but the day is coming and we better accept (even embrace, God forbid) the changing landscape and start preparing.
Now regarding my opening question (should IT personnel become nervous in this world with no IT resource) - of course not! Their current role will change/expand, rather than spending most of their time deep in the infrastructure (such as AD configuration/administration), they will be instrumental with this virtual/cloudy infrastructure. Vendor selection and ongoing benchmarking will occupy a greater portion of their time.
Are you convinced by now? I must be missing something and be happy to hear your take.