…what it is ain’t exactly clear…” – Buffalo Springfield, January 1967
Or is it?
We are in the midst of a significant set of IT market shifts, and we are starting to find the words for it.
OS and Platforms: We are witnessing a rapid shift to a new paradigm – from monolithic computing to the virtual domain. This is even getting noticed in mainstream business publications. See:http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_37/b4049052.htm?campaign_id=rss_daily
We are going to see a radical “remapping” of software delivery in conjunction with this. Could this be why Citrix bought XenSource for $500M? This is likely to extend Citrix’s increasing footprint in the streaming application on demand methods. See:http://www.citrix.com/lang/English/lp/lp_680809.asp
And are you watching what Intel is up to? Tons of R&D and standards efforts continue to roll to market, fundamentally redrawing the lines between what functions are contained in the platform versus the OS and 3rd party applications. Security and manageability functionality is continuing to be subsumed by the platform and chipsets themselves. See:http://www.intel.com/pressroom/archive/releases/20070827comp.htm
And these are likely just the tip of the iceberg. OEMs and other chip suppliers have their own plans to ease customer pains to develop a more competitive posture for their offerings.
InfoSec: We have traditionally depended on several assumptions that no longer hold true…where is the IT perimeter? Are the real issues in information security keeping the bad guys out? Or is it increasingly making sure the “good guys” don’t mess things up? Yes, there is a fundamental change here as well. We are moving from the negative model to a positive one. New platform and OS functions continue to bring “security” closer to the data – both the software that RUNS the platform as well as USER content. Some analysts and companies are beginning to refer to this shift as “Security by Inclusion” – emphasizing these shifts. Others refer to this as moving from a reactive posture to a proactive view.
Operational Excellence is the Goal: Like other (non-IT) sectors standards, best practices and 3rd party independent controls will likely marry quickly with the improvements in platform and software methods in the best shops. This is not an option nor is it a luxury. It will become a competitive imperative. If you are a student of manufacturing and business best practices, this could be deja vu all over again.