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Virtual Bridges: 2011 Prediction - The Return of the Innovator

What do Virtualization and Cloud executives think about 2011?  Find out in this VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed Article By Jim Curtin, CEO, Virtual Bridges

2011 Prediction - The Return of the Innovator

Ahh, predictions. The annual game of making educated guesses about the future. In 365 days, we can look back and I'll either sound incredibly brilliant, or... let's just say I hope I do better than the people who predict college football's BCS (note: I am in Austin, TX).

The truth is I'm very excited about 2011, and here's why:

  • The return of the infrastructure innovator. We've come off a very long, challenging cycle of conservative choices. And during this time, we've seen big stable vendors thrive. But the winds are ripe for change. Just like we saw in the 90's, a wave of fresh ideas will soon hit the market and only the nimble innovators will be able to take advantage. Whether entrepreneurs have regained the support of the investment community or not, customers are looking for independent solutions that can offer real benefits. There are significant demands on the industry to move rapidly and over the next year, and I anticipate we'll see new names and faces rise to the top, taking the risks and delivering the solutions that will change computing for the next decade.

 

  • The official end to stateful computing. The new virtualization strategies are incredibly compelling and offer an end to the 26-year old PC management model where software and data were coupled to hardware. I expect we'll see a massive shift as organizations officially decouple hardware and software. Branch offices and mobile workforces will grow significantly as employees increasingly are able to enjoy the same user experience, regardless of their location. You'll also see the extreme proliferation of accessibility devices (iPads and tablets) in the business world. Initially fun toys for playing games or watching movies, these devices will bring rapid convergence with existing business applications as well as adoption of new ways of accessing information. Users will be able to access common information no matter what device they use or where they are located. 2011 will be all about efficiency, and let's face it, desktops have long been one of the most inefficient technology solutions both from a cost and a management standpoint.

 

  • IT becomes a service from your Service Provider. This has been building for some time, but there is increasing awareness that IT can now become a service. Over the next year, you'll see service providers introducing real IT services as real business lines, complimenting their traditional voice and data offerings. From Data-as-a-Service to desktop management solutions, service providers are well positioned to bring these solutions to their loyal customer bases. There will also be a big shift for the hardware life-cycle management folks - managed desktop services will shift increasingly away from the hardware refresh towards the software "gold master" and user profile management.

 

  • The end of the big squeeze. Let's face it, for the last decade IT has tried to squeeze every last drop out of every last device. IT has squeezed, and squeezed and squeezed and there's nothing left. While the push for efficiency will continue and intensify, there are few if any gains to be achieved within current solutions. In 2011 I think you'll see CIOs making war on legacy infrastructure and making big investments into next generation infrastructure that can truly make a difference in terms of costs and workload. This is time for change; it's out with the old and in with the new.

 

  • Progress towards eliminating the digital divide. As a personal passion, I'm optimistic that the next generation of computing solutions being adopted by forward-looking IT organizations can also have a tremendous impact on society by bridging the digital divide. New advancements such as virtualization, and decoupling hardware from software and data, will make it so much easier to provide personal computing to groups who previously couldn't afford it. And the innovation in this space is not only about bringing down the cost of end user computing, but also about improving accessibility, and providing a user experience that requires little to no maintenance. Of course, it's a little ambitious to expect significant change in just one year, but starting in 2011 and continuing over the next three to five years, I think you will see very positive things happening.

So there you have it, my take on the next 12 months. In a few weeks as you watch the ball drop in Times Square and ring in the New Year, remember innovation is out there. This is our year!

About the Author

Jim has been on the forefront of change in the computer industry over most of his 26 year career. At Digital Equipment Corporation, Jim was involved in one of the first PC roll outs and introduction of PC-based tools in the organization. He then moved on to Open Systems with the Open Software Foundation and as Managing Director of Asia Pacific promoted the benefits of distributed computing ahead of the internet. With the advent of the internet, Jim turned to network security management and policy enforcement as a co-founder and CEO of DASCOM. DASCOM was acquired by IBM in 1999 and Jim served as VP of Security. In 2000, Jim turned to combining the benefits of Open Source and Linux to the problem of desktop management in what has now become known as VDI. Jim co-founded Virtual Bridges in 2006 to take this vision to the next level in bringing VDI to the Cloud.  Jim is a graduate of Harvard University and Digital’s Financial Development Program.

Published Monday, December 06, 2010 5:00 AM by David Marshall
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