The future of IT – an interesting discussion indeed!

Yesterday I attended a meeting of “Microsoft Infrastructure Influencers” where the discussion revolved around the future of IT and what that means for all of us. The discussion was lead by Norm Judah, Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft Services on a fleeting visit to New Zealand.

Three take-aways from the discussion:

  1. Microsoft’s focus is cloud first, on-premise second.
  2. On-premise infrastructure isn’t going away anytime soon, but it will become a legacy as new systems are built for the cloud only.
  3. Everyone is learning, adapting and improving. The cloud has problems now but these problems will decrease over time.

There are many issues with the cloud from latency and bandwidth to constantly updating API’s. The reality is the it is like any IT system that is being developed and the only constant is change. The problem is often this isn’t visible to the people building solutions on top of the core platform whether it is CRM, SharePoint online or Azure. The same issues are true for non-Microsoft clouds too.

A good tip for the IT Pro, keep an eye on what is happening in developer land. Those guys and girls are building with new tools, targeting mobile, deploying to the cloud and provisioning infrastructure with a mouse click, no 6 month delay, op-ex budget and they are by-passing the server jockey! Time to update your skill set on the new tools.

In the classic on-premise model the IT Pro typically had 3 years to learn a new product or solution before the next version was released. This is no-longer the case with cloud. We need to become agile in our approach to learning and supporting the business and users when it comes to the cloud.

In summary, if you are an IT Pro, panic when Microsoft announces the last version of on-premise Exchange. That will be a pretty good indicator of start of the end-game for on-premise.

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