Infrastructure as a Service

Software as a Service (Saas) like is really valuable, but it's only part of the story.  For development projects it's important to have Platform as a Service (Paas) options, like Windows Azure, and Amazon's EC2.  However, even that doesn't complete the picture, as IT Professionals are increasingly in need of infrastructure in the cloud, or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). 

IaaS may be the least understood but most critical component of the cloud service story.  Essentially, IaaS is a server that runs in the cloud.  IaaS is needed today for many different things (e.g. testing, etc), but in the near future I think we're going to see IaaS put pressure on the physical server business as it can increasingly serve as an outright replacement for a physical server.  While there are still technology constraints on running Windows Server in the cloud, this problem is going to be solved soon, and then look out.  This will have extraordinary implications for traditional server vendors, as cloud services begin to "eat" the physical server business.




Windows 8

With the roll out of the preview build of Windows 8, we now know that the the Windows Phone 7 “Metro” user interface is coming to desktop Windows. I am frankly shocked at this development. WinPhone7 has done nothing in the marketplace, and I see virtually no evidence that the “Metro” tile interface offers customers any benefit.

When Metro was first released it was clearly an attempt to call attention away from the lack of apps for Win7 by using it’s screen hogging tiles … now that Win7 has more apps, you’d expect them to gradually devolve Metro in favor of a more icon specific approach similar to Apple iOS and Android. Instead they are extending the Metro to their core Windows franchise, meaning that desktop users, developers, and IT professionals are going to be dragged into the Metro fold. I can think of no way this helps Microsoft or its customers … let’s hope Microsoft comes to its senses before it’s too late.



Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is the recent trend of employees buying their own information technology platforms, then bringing them into work with the expectation that IT provides support for access to company systems. Not so many years ago, IT handled ALL hardware and software acquisition … but this model of control has self-destructed faster than you can say ‘iPhone’.

In the BYOD work, employees will increasingly drive product and platform adoption. Employees pick the smartphones and tablets, and IT had better adapt and get going in terms of helping unlock opportunity for the company, including at a minimum, total email support and integration, VPN support, and access to corporate applications. As well, employees pick services like Google Apps and, and IT had better focus on helping to make the platform as productive as possible for the company’s investment.

BYOD is here to stay, and effective IT is about not just supporting it, but in EMBRACING it to help create even more choice, innovation, and productivity … effective BYOD can help IT transition a tolerated cost center, to a valued member of the team with a focus on business, customers, and the bottom line.


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