Will You Have a Job if ‘IT as a Service’ Becomes the Norm?

Sure, we’ve all  heard of Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). Now the next logical concept in cloud computing has been introduced – “IT as a Service.” That sounds interesting, but also be a bit scary.

The man
who said it, VMware CEO Paul Maritz, has an extremely vested interest, though this
doesn’t make his overall points any less valid. At last week’s VMWorld, he introduced products and concepts that take cloud-based computing to
loftier levels than ever and suggest an entire re-imagining of the IT
infrastructures that have run our organizations for the past 25 years. Are you along
for the ride?

Noting
that SaaS apps are firmly entrenched in corporate culture, Maritz said VMware has
15 such applications in its workplace. “I didn’t approve a single one and
they don’t need a single sign on,” Maritz noted. “We’re going to have to deal
with these new applications, or IT is going to be left holding the bag.”

The trade
press gave that quote a lot of attention since a pioneer of cloud computing
acknowledged that the concept is inherently chaotic without the logins
and security that IT has traditionally controlled locally. Naturally, he then described
the offerings he has in mind to address that very issue.

Among
these new products is VMware View 4.5 desktop management software, described in press release speak as
“a complete, virtual desktop solution that enables enterprises to improve
security, lower operating costs and simplify desktop administration and
management by establishing a modern, end-user computing architecture.” The
end user gets both a virtual desktop through a LAN or WAN and a “Local
Mode” that gives you secure offline access through a personal computer.
Maritz says this stateless virtual desktop will cost about $250 per
user, which is 60 percent less than earlier VMware solutions.

“View delivers a personalized, uncompromising desktop
experience across nearly any end user device including Microsoft Windows
and Mac devices, Zero Clients, thin clients, kiosks and new computing platforms
such as the Apple iPhone and iPad, as well as Android devices,” he continued. “This capability
enables new flexible desktop models, supporting contractors and employees
leveraging their own endpoint devices.”

Translation: this kind of
“hybrid cloud” setup may be the solution that allows IT to integrate the
numerous gadgets and gizmos that users are begging to be allowed to use, with
far less hassle.

But does
less hassle mean fewer IT jobs? “VMware View Administrator
continues to drive simplification of virtual desktop management through a
single administrative interface,” Maritz said. If you’re the paranoid
type, you can easily read a “benefit statement” like that and see a
pink slip. Efficiency and cost savings are wonderful until the cost being saved
is your salary. It makes total sense for organizations of all sizes to look for
ways to offload as much of their data center infrastructure as possible to
specialized providers who can handle the load with equivalent speed and
security - always a challenging task - at a lower cost.

That
leaves traditional corporate IT workers surveying a rapidly changing landscape where
they may or may not have a future stake to claim. The logical reaction: join
the cloud computing club and be part of the great migration. Don’t be the
person who stays behind scanning the horizon and thinking about how scary the
future looks. True, this is all happening much faster than the experts predicted a few years ago, but that simply means you have to work
harder to keep up with it all.

Don Willmott 

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