Security also becomes less physical and logical boundaries and more behavioral, where anomalous behavior by individuals or applications raises security flags and sets of triggers set by risk profiles. "This is easier to do in a software-defined world," he says. VMware is promoting its concept of the software-defined virtual data center this week at VMworld.
Allowing personally owned devices in corporate networks is one thing, says Tucci, but there is a lot of shadow spending within businesses on unauthorized gear that could represent vulnerabilities.
This shift to using personal mobile devices is being called the post-PC era, but members of the panel disagree with that characterization. "The post PC era has been pretty good to PCs so far," says Dell, noting that the term has been applied since 1999 and PC sales have tripled since, although they are suffering now.
Maritz says a better way of looking at it is an era of multiple devices in which the device used is the one best suited to circumstances. "There are certain things you can only do on a big screen," he says, "like edit a PowerPoint."
Tucci says that any innovation and productivity gains in business require IT investments, but three quarters of IT budgets go toward maintaining the existing infrastructure. He says cost savings from use of virtual and cloud technology could be used to spark innovation and improve business processes.
But strictly in the IT realm, executives need to be willing to take chances on new technology that could boost productivity for their businesses of cloud infrastructure will help free up some of that budget, Georgens says. "The thing that gets you fired is when rivals create a competitive advantage when you, as CIO, said that type of move was impossible or too risky." Cloud was a technology many businesses were slow to latch onto sometimes to their disadvantage, he says.
Gelsinger says that businesses need to revise their organizational structure as they adopt new technologies that alter how their infrastructure works. The networking group at some businesses still butt heads with their counterparts in storage and computing. With virtualization of data centers, he says, database administrators no longer control information; that is done at the virtualization layer. IT needs to look at itself as a service organization that charges business units for services.
The group identified what it saw as trends affecting IT. Dell says that open source efforts such as Linux and Open Stack have drawn a large group of vendors to join in. The open communities nurture innovation that results in better products for customers, he says.
Georgens says the trend he sees is cloud, and the surprise is that large enterprises seem to be embracing it even though on paper it looks like it would be more attractive to mid-size businesses.
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