The rapid rate of change in IT

I just recently spent a few days in beautiful downtown Las Vegas at the Gartner Data Center Conference, and I must say, it was quite informative and a good show all together. One thing I found especially intriguing is how the IT industry has been changing so rapidly lately.

All the vendors are clamoring to get noticed by hyping all the new catch phrases like: cloud, big data, service broker, hybrid, and virtualized. What was really interesting though was coming to the realization of just how cool all the new technology is and how dramatically things have changed even over the last four to five years. Even though some of the technology coming out may shift the role of today’s IT professional, the increase in overall productivity is a good thing for business.

As an example, cloud computing is a great way to move to more of an operational/services model so the IT team has the time to focus more on strategic applications. In some instances, change is now happening so fast that the traditional things the IT staff once focused on (like backup and disaster recovery) can now be outsourced to a managed service provider or cloud services provider.

  • Overall IT operations become less of a burden and the IT staff can focus on business requirements versus mundane tasks.
  • Virtual servers have replaced physical servers, and are now the norm
  • Software has replaced hardware as the major focus of IT management
  • CIOs are now looking to buy services instead of servers and storage
  • The Storage Area Network is becoming old hat, and starting to be phased out
  • Modular system building blocks are replacing the buy and build model in the data center

It kind of makes me nostalgic for the old days though. Back when computer operators wore white smocks and carried around clipboards to jot down barcode numbers while the tape reels spun round and round and you heard the steady hum of the then massive 5MB disk drives spinning in the background.

old_datacenter.jpg

Ah... the good old days when big hardware was king and one megabyte was more than you would ever need. The data center of the future is a virtual world, implemented just in time via software and located in the cloud.  Complete freedom from mundane tasks and physical limitations. It’s amazing how fast things change.

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