Internet as Data Center

I read about CA World in Las Vegas this week, and the description of the cloud by one company executive, Dr Ajei Gopal, executive vice-president of products and technology, really caught my eye and struck a bell.

In a story on the event, Gopal was quoted as describing how the typical IT department will be transformed and made – more so than ever – into a management function benefitting the entire organization: “The cloud will change everything. Instead of being a monolithic supplier of technology services to the business, the IT department becomes the manager of a dynamic supply chain of internal and external resources that delivers services to the business and its internal and external clients.

“[IT will be about] managing a highly virtualized, highly adaptable, internal and external supply chain where the focus is on the product. In this new era, the entire internet is going to be the data centre.”

Gopal’s comments had a ring of truth to it that struck home because I’ve said numerous times in this blog that the cloud allows IT managers to let go of tedious tasks (such as buying and updating endless rounds of application or OS software, and gives them more time to act like true managers – that is, take a larger view of their computing infrastructure and manage its present and future needs holistically.

William McCracken, president and CEO of CA, was there, too, addressing the 7,000 delegates in a keynote. And he spoke about how the economic crisis has forced many companies to be more efficient and do more with less.

“Most systems in large enterprises at any point in time are 40 to 60 percent underutilized,” he said.

That’s another reason I see the cloud really taking off this year. As the economy returns to health, I can’t believe that companies will return to their old, wasteful ways of managing their resources. So, they’ll turn to cloud platforms and cloud services providers, such as monitoring tools, because they allow you to pay only for what you use.

And that’s something that’s good for both large and smaller companies.