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On a recent call, an analyst shared a story about a company whose IT infrastructure was completely wiped out in a natural disaster. Forced to start from scratch, the company reinvented the spirit and composition of its enterprise IT strategy, and the set of solutions that emerged from the rubble made their organization inherently more mobile and efficient. Which begs the question: what would enterprise IT look like if all companies were afforded the opportunity to “start over?” In 2011, we might just find out. Other less destructive but incredibly powerful drivers for change are at work, and the coming year will be one of massive transformation in the enterprise.
The cloud has tipped for the enterprise
IDC forecasts that worldwide IT spending will hit $1.6 trillion this year, with 13% growth coming from software and services, and public cloud solutions making up the largest growth area. Cloud services are no longer on the periphery. 2011 will make this undoubtedly clear, bringing a massive wave of adoption, innovation and transformation as the cloud crosses the chasm from the early adopters to larger, more pragmatic organizations.
Evidence that the cloud has tipped is everywhere. It especially hit me when my dad, who works at a blue-chip paper company, told me that one of his business units had recently adopted NetSuite. Microsoft has started advertising their cloud products at airports and on television. In 2010, the US government determined that Google apps is secure enough for the GSA and Microsoft’s BPOSS for the USDA, citing millions in cost savings annually. Even Larry Ellison, one of the cloud’s biggest detractors, opened his Oracle Openworld keynote talking about, well, cloud computing.