Miha Kralj, a director in the office of the chief technology officer for Microsoft's office of services, had one warning for delegates at the close of Microsoft's Tech.Ed 2010 conference: the cloud will change society and resistance is futile.
Speaking with ZDNet Australia prior to his locknote address on future technology trends at Tech.Ed on the Gold Coast today, Kralj said IT departments that resisted the trend towards cloud computing risked being replaced.
"People need to accept that in IT as an industry, we are going to face a dramatic major shift," he said. "IT used to be a cost centre for some things that every business knows they need, now it's very interesting because IT tried to control those things but these are already starting to go to cloud computing."
"There will be a time when business says to the IT department 'we run business out there, we run our billing out there, we are running the CRM out there, what are you providing to us? Networking? We can outsource that'," he said.
"It's not that I'm predicting doom, just don't tell me cloud computing is bad, because if your job can be automated then it will be automated."
It wasn't all doom and gloom; Kralj said new avenues of work would open up in the sector.
"It sounds bizarre now, but one of the jobs of the future will be bionic engineers. There are plenty of new jobs coming down the stream," he said. "How about being a dream designer? It's better than being a movie producer or a game designer."
"If you can't afford the whole IPv4 address because it's a scarcity, your internet service provider will probably just start giving you two ports instead of the whole IPv4," he said. "The moment you have a scarce resource, you can seriously monetise it and unless industry moves to IPv6, depletion of IPv4 will create an unfair market for internet providers so net neutrality will become an issue."
Kralj said that as technology grows more complex, it becomes "like magic" for the vast majority of society, and that the society of tomorrow won't be concerned with how things work, just knowing that they need it.
"Before I came here, I went camping, it was a beautiful site far out from Seattle. For my 12-year-old it was a nightmare, the most hell on earth, because there was no cell coverage"
"And he said to me 'When I'm 16, I'm allowed to sue you for that'," Kralj laughed. "He sees that as his human right to be connected, whereas I see it as a luxury."
Josh Taylor travelled to Tech.Ed as a guest of Microsoft