Cloud, consumerization give power to users, steal influence from IT

Convenience, ease of use reduce front-line role for IT, but don't eliminate it


Mobility and the personal cloud: Users want to compute while they walk, access all their data all the time and not clog up their tablets and smartphones with boring data rather than YouTube videos. So it all goes to the cloud, bringing all the potential problems of cloud to IT whether it's ready to deal with them or not.

Hybrid clouds: IT doesn't like external clouds because they can't locate or control data; top management agrees with IT during quarterly compliance-reporting cycles, thinks it's stodgy and misguided the rest of the time. Only solution: build the cloud they want, but keep important stuff inside the firewall in a private cloud.

Fabric data centers: No longer hardware housed in a single place. Data centers are increasingly responsible for becoming the fabric of cloud-computing infrastructures, connecting and integrating legacy, SaaS and cloud systems through what used to be just a big room filled with geeks and computers.

IT complexity: Don't ask; the details give everyone a headache.

Storage and big data: More data collected, more data to store. More data stored so users don't have to carry it, even more data to store. Eventually you need tools to count up all the data and weed through it for answers. Thereby you give birth to Big Data.

End of your service helpdesk: If a user's desktop applications all live in a data center on the other side of the country, why should they call someone inside the building to ask questions? Outsource the HD and let those people get on with some more productive work. (Symptom of IT burnout and acceptance of its irrelevance: no longer thinking that direct support of employees is either IT's responsibility or an activity that makes the company more efficient. Both assumptions are wrong; both lead to the rest of the company writing IT off as irrelevant.)

Software defined networks virtualizing the data center: Cloud, baby.

It doesn't look like it, but all those things stem from demands of users to be more mobile, to have more data and more computing power available to them when they travel or work from home and efforts by IT to accommodate those demands.

Virtualizing servers consolidates hundreds of far-flung, underutilized servers into well-managed data centers and saves money by stuffing more work into fewer, bigger servers.

Mobile computing, personal clouds, SaaS, the need to manage computing resources that are physical, virtual, cloud-based, externally hosted as XaaS services or are carried in by employees – all without allowing any major data breaches or security failures – drives IT to outsource more and more of the technology end users touch.

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