TECHED: Lock note – Predicting the next 10 years in IT

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Easily the best TechEd lock note I’ve seen (but then again I’ve only been to TechEd 4 times).

Miha Kralj talked us through the technology changes we’ll be seeing over the next few years.

If you get a chance to see his presentation (I’m sure it will be repeated at other events, or put up on a video site somewhere) make sure you do – it is well worth it.

It’s difficult to do the session justice, so I’ll just post a few info-bytes and comments he made.

 

What went wrong at IBM?IBM

Having previously worked at IBM (and through the problems they went through) he is now a senior architect at Microsoft, based in Redmond. Looking at IBM he wondered why – with great people, and great technology, and having had great success – what went wrong?

Ka ching!

His answer: they had a cash cow which couldn’t be messed with. That sacred cash cow was the mainframe.

His solution: You need to render your cash cow redundant before someone else does.

 

Unstoppable trends

Baby boomers: are ageing… 80% of wealth is in the hands of baby boomers. Digital immigrants are losing out to digital natives. The new users want devices that know where they are, what they want and what they need (how to connect will be a given).

Less vendors: There are fewer major technology vendors. Example: server class computing vendors. 24 major vendors in 1997. 14 in 2000, 10 in 2004 and only 6 in 2008 for building server class computing.

Data centre Server consumption: More that one third of all servers on the planet are being consumed by Microsoft, Yahoo and Google. They buy servers by the container. There are only 3 connections: network, water (for cooling) and power. And they don’t even get a key to the container. The containers don’t even get any attention unless the availability of the servers inside drops below 95%. Cooling is 2/3 of all the power required to power a container.

Cooling: Data centres are being located in cooler areas (Eg Chicago and Siberia) in order to minimise cooling costs. The data-centre is now controlled via coolmaps (ie the opposite of heatmaps) whereby the SQL Servers are ‘lifted’ and put onto the servers that are in the cooler corners of the data centre (remember that everything is virtualised).

Environment: The carbon footprint of IT now matches aviation. 

 

Tidbits

Tuvalu’s biggest export is its domain name.

Nigeria’s second biggest money source is internet scams.

It is estimated that 50% of dating and relationship commencement in the US is online.

 

Understanding ‘… as a Service’

A taxi is ‘Car as a Service’ and it means that the questions we ask are different. eg we don’t check the make of taxi, or whether it is the colour of our preference. Rather, we check whether it is clean, available for hire, and big enough for our purposes.

Vendors are changing to be Providers. We will no longer sell technology, we will sell services.

  • Cloud enablers: Virtualise, Provision, Secure
  • Delivery models: SaaS RTI, Premises
  • Core services: Search, Pay, Compute, Store
  • Consumer services: Play Shop Love Help

The great migration: Don’t focus on solutions, focus on protocols – making your application available from anywhere.

 

The next web

The next web will be a mix of digital and real

  • First web: What can I find?
  • Second web: What can I contribute?
  • The next web: What do I need here and now?

The core issues will be Privacy and Trust

 

Closing thoughts from Miha

Miha closed with a few pointers to how our world is changing:

Age, location and even language don’t matter any more.

China produces half a million English speaking IT graduates every year (the US only produces 100,000)

The leadership of the future: will be based on meritocracy (not democracy)

Events will be digital and won’t require physical attendance.

 

My opinion

This TechEd brought together a few key concepts for me. Based on sessions I attended (including the lock-note), people I chatted with and things I read, two ideas really struck me:

 

The server room is dead

If you are a small to medium size company, then take a look around your server room – because it won’t be there much longer. Soon (eg within 10 years, and probably much less) there will be no such thing as a company server room. Everything will be outsourced to hosting companies. Your email, your databases, your file servers, your communications servers, your LOB servers, everything will be in the cloud. It will be quicker, more secure, and infinitely more scalable.

Aside: Australia will stand particularly exposed if our internet infrastructure can’t progress to support the bandwidth required.

 

The web is the future

I know this must sound totally obvious (and I even work for a web company) but it struck  me more than ever that we are just entering the web era. We are at the beginning. All the social networking and e-The web is the futurecommerce sites of the last decade are just a pre-cursor to what is to come. People still don’t get the web. Whilst to many individuals and businesses the web is still optional or a part-time involvement, the future will be an always connected and integrated part of our lives. In business you need to understand both the opportunity and the threat this brings.

Aside: In the Microsoft camp, most people haven’t yet woken up to what Silverlight and Mesh are going to bring (people still haven’t got past the fancy graphics and 5GB of free storage…).

 

Final thought

I’ve never really been a Ray Ozzie fan, but as a result of this last week I finally got what his vision is. Microsoft has a number of things to sort out along the way of course, but they’ve been putting the plumbing in place for a while now, and sleepy heads like me are finally starting to catch on…

4 comments

  • That does sound like an interesting adn different keynote.

    I think Microsoft does understand the issues. I’m just not sure whether they can really be a player. The problem is that the new world order is distributed and chaotic by nature – spread out and with no control, which is exactly what Microsoft is trying to hold onto. The innovation that might be possible is often held back because of the Microsoft business model. If anything is going to kill Microsoft that’ll be it.

    The cash cow and it’s funny somebody from Microsoft should bring that up…

  • That does sound like an interesting adn different keynote.

    I think Microsoft does understand the issues. I’m just not sure whether they can really be a player. The problem is that the new world order is distributed and chaotic by nature – spread out and with no control, which is exactly what Microsoft is trying to hold onto. The innovation that might be possible is often held back because of the Microsoft business model. If anything is going to kill Microsoft that’ll be it.

    The cash cow and it’s funny somebody from Microsoft should bring that up…

  • Hi Rick,

    Yes, I agree – I’m still not convinced that Microsoft can be a major player. However, I’m a little more optimistic now than previously.
    In Ray’s April memo he mentions the mindset problem they’ve had with their Office cash cow.
    http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/full_text_of_ray_ozzie_mesh_memo.php
    Search for the section titled ‘Transformation of our company’ about 2/3 through. He acknowledges that they’ve had to change focus away from their long standing Office powerhouse. Whether they can or not of course remains to be seen…

    My other comment is in regards to your thought about the world being distributed and chaotic. Distributed yes, but chaotic I would question, especially when talking about companies. Individuals yes, but companies I think are searching for an ordered, known quantity to manage their information. I actually think the Microsoft business model may suit many large companies. But the individual and consumer market is almost all but lost to other vendors already.

    Cheers,
    Craig

  • Hi Rick,

    Yes, I agree – I’m still not convinced that Microsoft can be a major player. However, I’m a little more optimistic now than previously.
    In Ray’s April memo he mentions the mindset problem they’ve had with their Office cash cow.
    http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/full_text_of_ray_ozzie_mesh_memo.php
    Search for the section titled ‘Transformation of our company’ about 2/3 through. He acknowledges that they’ve had to change focus away from their long standing Office powerhouse. Whether they can or not of course remains to be seen…

    My other comment is in regards to your thought about the world being distributed and chaotic. Distributed yes, but chaotic I would question, especially when talking about companies. Individuals yes, but companies I think are searching for an ordered, known quantity to manage their information. I actually think the Microsoft business model may suit many large companies. But the individual and consumer market is almost all but lost to other vendors already.

    Cheers,
    Craig

About Craig

I'm the co-host of HubShots and the CEO of XEN - helping mid-large B2B companies with their digital marketing and lead generation.

Craig Bailey

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