Cloud, virtualisation and mobility add up to a revolution
Pervasive digital connections between people and machines will change business forever. Emily Nagle Green explains how IT leaders can - and must - adapt.
Cloud computing. Desktop virtualisation. Enterprise mobility. Machine to machine communications (M2M). Projects that threaten to overwhelm a business's IT team and budget.
Does your firm need them? Which should you prioritise now and which should wait?
Horses for courses, you might answer: it depends on your firm's unique challenges and opportunities. And you'd be right - but only partly so. There's something larger afoot here that should be shaping your firm's decision-making about the adoption and expansion of these and many other IT innovations.
The bigger picture? It's the emergence of ubiquitous connectivity, when a comprehensive, intelligent and abundant digital network will connect all of us - employees, partners, customers - as well as the things we care about.
I call this future state Anywhere, since it changes the meaning of location in our lives. Anywhere makes location simultaneously both less consequential - because we can work from anywhere - and more relevant, since insight about the location of us and our assets can be embedded into our activities to make them all more effective.
The emergence of Anywhere will be the largest technology revolution in our lifetimes. Just as the internet's commercialisation gave birth to new businesses like Amazon and Google that couldn't have existed without it, trillions of dollars of new products and services will develop as the world embraces a seamless, high capacity, pervasive network that is available not just in the developed world, not just at work and at home, not just where there are fixed line networks, but anywhere.
Major shifts ahead
Anywhere isn't a trend as much as it's a revolution. Recent shifts in the reach of wireless networks, the capabilities of handheld devices and the intelligence of cloud-based data and services threaten the structure of the broader technology sector as we know it today.
Windows may lose its enterprise dominance as smartphones flood offices with multiple mobile OSes. Monolithic enterprise apps like SAP may fracture as the trend towards app portals narrows user software appetites to bite-sized hits on corporate data structures.
And as proprietary datacentres transition to external, shared use of cloud-based cycles, will the primacy of IBM give way to increased importance of managed services from network providers like BT?
Why enterprises should care
Why does the bigger picture of anywhere connectivity matter to enterprises? The main responsibility IT leaders have is to help their organisation deploy technology to increase revenues and reduce costs. The emergence of the Anywhere Network is the most powerful tool we have to do that job. Some examples...