“In three years… more than 80% of the devices connecting to the Internet will not be Windows-based personal computers.” This statement was part of a keynote speech by VMWare CEO Paul Maritz recently at the VMWorld sessions in Las Vegas. A long time executive at Microsoft in the 80s and 90s, outranked only by Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, Maritz was in Las Vegas to talk about his vision of the future, the cloud and the Internet as a whole. He spoke of the need for new applications and new approaches as the cloud creates new realities for IT.
The Era of the Virtual Machine
Maritz touched on many aspects of this change, including the growth of virtual machines, stating that a new virtual machine is deployed every six seconds, making the rate of growth faster than the U.S. birthrate. He also talked about how the evolution of data fabric will be a key to many upcoming changes. “The relational database cannot handle the way at which and the rate at which these applications are going to be developed. And out of this, we can already see the beginnings of the next canonical set of applications that will be about scale being in real time,” Maritz said.
The old world way of collecting data and storing it until the information is needed will become obsolete as the younger generation of users and IT workers, weaned on Facebook and Twitter, will demand real-time information. Although this change in how business intelligence is handled is not new, the focus of how it is evolving is. The ability to customize information whenever needed within the context it was requested is going to be crucial for future business applications.
New Solutions for a New Age
This will be a challenge for many CIOs and IT decision makers and Maritz was quick to point out that with the vast majority of applications currently being produced by programmers under the age of 35, legacy systems and cumbersome methodology will need to move aside for new ways of looking at solutions and different ideologies.
“The problem is the people under the age of 35 don’t sit behind desks, and they don’t spend all of their time lovingly tending to documents” Maritz said. “They will be dealing with streams of information that will be coming at them in much smaller chunks and much larger numbers. We’re moving into a new post-document era, and we will need different solutions.”
The era of BYOD (bring your own device) is upon us and he cautioned that CIOs would be well advised to stop wasting time and energy fighting this inevitable change. We can no longer control what device the user has in their hands; IT cannot assume that they can make that happen anymore, he cautioned. The changes in the consumer world are going to drive that factor, and we might as well learn how to work with it.
“We’re going have to learn how to deliver capability to users independent of the particular device that they happen to have in their hands at that time of day, and do that in a way that’s not only secure on the one hand, but acceptable to the user in the other,” he said.
No matter how you look at it, change is coming. Are you ready for it?
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Image Credit: Jay Greene/CNET