Why It's Time to Embrace the Cloud Now: IDC

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-03-16 Print this article Print

Back in 1986, the IT business changed forever with the client-server computing model. Another sea change is happening in 2011 with on-demand and mobile computing.

SAN JOSE, Calif.-IDC's frontman, Senior Vice President and Chief Analyst Frank Gens, sees a significant fork in the IT road in 2011 similar to one that happened 25 years ago.

Back in 1986, PCs and desktop computers were 5 years old and starting to work their way into daily use in dedicated enterprise networks and home offices, replacing typewriters and word processors. The Internet to connect them all was still a decade away, but the groundwork was already being laid for it.

"In 1986, mainframes and terminals were the standard. Coming up was a new class of end-user device (the PC) and new types of networks and computing platforms driven by the PC radically expanded the users-and uses-of IT," Gens told a full-house audience of about 1,200 in his keynote at the 46th annual IDC Directions conference here at the San Jose Convention Center March 15.

"IT companies looked at what was happening, made some strategic decisions and chose a direction. As you can imagine, some of them gauged what was happening correctly, and some did not. Now, 25 years later, we're again at a crossroads, and taking the correct path is as crucial now as it was then."

Gens (pictured), of course, was referring to traditional client-server computing versus new-generation IT based on on-demand software and services via the Internet, otherwise known as cloud computing.

Gens and IDC are convinced that now is the time that IT device and components makers, system providers, software developers and service specialists need to embrace the new IT combination model of public/private/hybrid cloud systems, mobile devices and on-demand services to prepare their products and services for buyers with these third-platform preferences.

The clear implication here: In 2011, it's either the cloud way or the highway.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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