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

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That outsourcing is more often to external SaaS or other cloud services than large-scale outsourcing contracts to India or China. What users see is that someone outside the company provides more eager, more specific support to the apps they actually use than IT seems able to do.

Convenience leads to virtualization the end of the PC and, if it's not careful, the end of IT

As smartphones and tablets become more common so does the assumption that users will have more than one device and more than one place from which to work with sensitive data.

Personal clouds make data more accessible; hybrid clouds make it more secure. The infinite data center provides the power to drive virtual servers and apps, but it's useless without good resource management.

Hybrid clouds make apps and data available outside the bounds of one company or one set of apps and hardware; fabric data centers connect those things.

Storage and big data is the inevitable result.

Greater complexity in IT is also inevitable, made more so by the need to define networks, access to applications and virtualized-everything within IT.

The end result? "The whole concept of PCs is going away," Capuccio said in presenting the list during his keynote. His assumption is that PCs will continue to give way to more convenient form factors and forces the redesign or destruction of all the IT technology and organization that grew up to support it.

Except, trends are just waves of change rippling through a set of habits, IT investments and legacy apps or policies that are outdated but still survive because they solve specific training, security or access problems other tech won't, at least not without so big a payout the cost will far outweigh the benefit.

IT may be diminished; it will not go away

Every trend in hardware and infrastructure visible right now appears to lead, inevitably, to the dissolution and irrelevance of IT as well as the elimination of the PC as primary computing tool for end users.

Wood also replaced stone as a primary building material sometime during the Middle Ages; cotton and man made materials replaced wool; the airplane replaced ground transport as primary way to travel long distances.

None of those outdated technologies disappeared.

Neither will IT or the PC (though its appearance and size will change beyond recognition) or even legacy applications, data and data centers.

It will all remain exactly where it is, underpinning and supporting cloud and mobile and all the other more convenient forms of computing.

It will be tended by a shrunken, altered IT staff, shifted several rungs down the corporate leadership ladder as befits its support role.

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