The Times They Are A-Changin’

Some of you may recognise this as title of one of Bob Dylan’s songs. Click here for the lyrics and enjoy! 

However, on a serious note … 

Fast paced changes in technology (or “ICT” – Information and Communication Technology)  through the advent of social media, mash-ups and the ability to use our mobile devices means that many of us have a better experience of our IT at home than we do at work. 

However, Companies are poised to strike back, with technologies such as client virtualisation. Centrally managed virtualised clients bring a new approach of “let’s give them what they actually need, not what they want,” says David Cappuccio, chief of research for the infrastructure teams at Gartner. 

Companies are (finally) beginning to realise that if you don’t allow use of wikis, Twitter or Facebook in the business (to communicate for business), people are going to use it anyway; they’ll find a way around it. 

Companies need to integrate the “social dimension” of ICT to their internal and external systems. This is becoming more evident across Public sector where Companies are trying to unify as much of their communications as possible, tying in Web communications, social networking and other platforms to claw back some control. 

More and more people are utilising applications for mobile and wireless applications that are either free or modestly priced. As people get more and more handhelds, they are saying “they want these apps and they want them now” and those users aren’t interested in seeing what ICT can produce in six months. 

Mash-ups created by users are also something that Companies have to manage. This has the potential of enabling users to find news ways to exploit information that drives the business of a Company and will challenge the need for better, and more integrated, Information Management and Business Intelligence. This will require users across a Company to become involved in Business/IT alignment strategies, programmes/projects and Business-As-Usual (BAU) activities. 

Cloud computing, particularly a private cloud, separates users from the technology decision because it turns ICT into a set of services. If you do that, it frees up IT to make decisions on what technology to buy, when to buy … suddenly the constraints all go away. 

Your company may have some 24/7 applications, maybe even a few 24/7 data centres, but in the cloud vendor world, every aspect of their environment is 24/7. It isn’t the exception — it’s the only rule. 

This doesn’t mean cloud vendors are perfect. Obviously the popular headlines and their legal contracts say they aren’t. But I’ll postulate that cloud data and application reliability already beats the reliability experience of most companies today. 

 

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