Thursday, January 3, 2013

Where have all the servers gone? Long time, no see...

The cloud is here to stay. It is cheaper. It is more reliable. It is scalable. The C-Suite has bought into it. Game over.

Now the rain starts....and you won't believe who is getting soaked!

The Cloud is disrupting IT departments more than anyone else. And many of them seem completely unprepared for that change.

Since 1982, technology has created some of the biggest changes for organizations in the last hundred years. The first change came with the PC and then with the internet itself. The landscape is littered with those who were unable to adapt to the technology juggernaut - companies, workers, governments etc. We went through two major tech cycles in which technologists were in high demand - salaries went through the roof - and demand was inexhaustible. More people got into the industry.

But now the chickens have come home to roost.

Change is now affecting the technologists. And in a big way. The paradigm has shifted.

For decades, the run of the mill IT shop has been primarily engaged in managing servers; installing and fixing desktops and printers; and installing software for users. Some went further, but most stayed home with just these main functions.

Fast forward to today. 

The servers are leaving the building (if they have not already). Desktops are being outsold by tablets and will surely become an endangered species in the very near future. Tablets are owned by the users (BYOD) - they don't need IT to fix them because Apple and Samsung do that now. Printers last forever.  80% of all software built in 2012 - was for the cloud model.

So what will IT do now? 

When I have conversations with  IT staffers and ask them this question, I get blank looks that seem to say, "You can't be serious?" Some will tell me that they will go and work in a datacenter (where all the servers are going). When I tell them that one of the Microsoft Datacenter (which manages their entire Cloud and Azure deployments) has less than 100 technicians working there and so datacenters may not be the panacea that they are looking for - I start seeing panic in their eyes.

IBM is now looking to sell its server division to Lenovo. They got out of desktops just before the tablet era hit with a vengeance. Now servers? The canary may have spoken.

Change is in the air. It's getting cloudy. It smells like rain. IT is going to be soaked.