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Consumerization and commoditization of IT

I just changed the title of this post as I am very interested in talking about the whole new era of IT. We, in the corporate world, are so lagging behind the development. The developments that is fuelled by the consumers and users alike. Where are proactive and collaborative communities? Who is building websites these days? Who makes money from selling software (People offer tons and tons of disk space for free!)? Bloggers are the king today. Blogging is also sometimes called as "citizen journalism". The young ones are going for the run.

I get emails from CEOs offering me to test their product and still telling the world about it. Why? Its all about marketing! I market their product and they give me the goods to test and play. We both turn out heroes :-)

Well this is 101 (One-on-One) tacit tie-up. But the same is already happening in the business world . And universities too are looking to catapult themselves to fame by doing the favor and returning favors to the consumers. We look at ourselves in the ways how we have been working and it is rather old fashioned. "So yesterday!" as a young college grad. would say. It indeed is so old. Consumerization is gobbling up the proprietary world. OK so ask yourself why would you even care about "Open Source".

You might argue, proprietary companies too are good. Right? Well... Lets look at it this way. You may have all your students working on Windows XP, doing all the work on Windows Servers. You are locked down into the free (or rather cheap licensing of your Servers/PCs). But what is going to happen to the world of education and what about the world after? Meaning the student goes out into a world where they talk about Virtual Appliances as the "de facto" of the new world and data centers.

All little and startup employers have a very light baggage and are deploying all cheap and effective open source technologies to strengthen their enterprise. And looking at the development in CRM (SugarCRM etc), BI(Pentaho,etc), NAS (FreeNAS),Collaboration(Zimbra etc), Provisioning (openQRM/QClusters).. well you are getting my point. All that is rock solid and all built on free software. But was the student prepared for this new world of open source which the business community has embraced?

I mean they are setting it all up in a matter of hours. Backups are arranged in no time. No more hassles about hiring excessive staff and buying servers. And you might wonder what has this all got to do with consumerization. It is consumerization that is making all the "hobby" technologies be it the world of that Finnish student (Linus Torwalds) who gave birth to Linux in 91, Rasmus Lerdorf (PHP) also in early 90s.

And look at the world today. Its AJAX, Mashups, Collaborative GIS, WiMAX, Web 2.0, SaaS (Software as a Service Salesforce, 37signals) is one such example, Applications for your domain , Google is offering its world class applications for free. (I changed my private email server into a "Gmail Server!":), I can go on and on. And not to forget about making money. Did you know that I also make money on my blog without even noticing it. I was surprised when I got a snailmail from Google telling me to collect my dollars. And if I just spent a tiny 30 minutes a day, I could make well above a couple of thousands a month. By the way my goal is not money. Its about the cause. Its the thrill of enjoying the truth and telling it out loud.

Once again, its consumerization that every growing enterprise is taking a strong hard look at. The ones who are still in the lock down, freeze mode are soon going to die down. Its all about give and take. And its all fair. No more cheap salesmen running and flashing stuff. Its about competition and its about facts. When I talk about products like VMware, I do it so with the deep knowledge and understanding of a professional. So we are also talking about a certain "instrumentation of consumerized intellectual property". We all are getting up and making a point.

Eventually like all other markets IT will be reduced and be globally deliverable. The question is do you want to be part of that movement or watch helplessly as it happens.

Note: I might extend this article later tomorrow.




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