[By Andrew Hald, FEMBA 2016]
Over the past 20 years it has been my great privilege to participate in two tectonic shifts in the Information Technology (IT) landscape. Early on in my career, I helped to migrate UC Santa Barbara billing applications from mainframe to client/server systems. Moving away from the mainframe brought significant cost savings, but increased complexity and server sprawl. In more recent years I have had a front row seat to the virtualization and cloud computing revolution as an employee at VMware. Virtualization reduced the server sprawl and cloud computing has squashed complexity.
We are now in an age of “Consumer-driven IT,” where business users can directly acquire and consume the IT services that they need. Ordering new services is as simple as downloading an app on your smartphone and you only pay for what you use. I wrote an article to try to capture key lessons learned over the past few decades from the perspectives of business users, CIOs and service providers. My hope is to provide you with the context that you need to understand where IT has been. Then you can more capably assess today’s IT landscape and make informed purchasing decisions.
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