Once you experience something better, the natural inclination of any human is to become desensitized to what was, at one point, absolutely astounding. We usually go even one step further and start to feel entitled to what was, only a short time before, out of reach. We have all seen it in our lives. I am longer content with staying in youth hostels and using my jacket for a pillow while traveling. A car with no air conditioning seems like an abuse of my basic human rights. I expect any website to be slick and "Web 2.0" as a matter of course. I can't make buying decisions without some sort of rating system and hundreds of user comments to guide me.
So, how does this relate to Data Center Automation? Well, I look at our industry right now, and I see a lot of expectation setting. Cloud Computing is the IT revolution of this decade. It shouldn't matter where your infrastructure is. "Compute Capacity" should be delivered not in weeks, but minutes. Business Applications should see updates every few weeks, not every few months. The list goes on and on, and we at BMC have built our business on achieving those expectations.
There is a rub, though. As often happens with IT revolutions like cloud, the inclination of both vendors and users is to reduce the solution to a single, easy to grasp concept. "To the Cloud" says the hard-working, small business CEO. "Isn't virtualization the same thing as cloud?". "Traditional Management and Automation Techniques no longer apply in the cloud". And as always happens, the unwary consumer is caught up in these over-simplications, and ends up paying the price.
So, what's the bottom line? I am excited about the changes in our industry, and I believe that many of the lofty predictions will seem like child's play 10 years from now. I also believe that users expectations of IT are higher now than any time before. I think this decade will be one of the most exciting for IT ever. However, I also believe that the repercussions for an ill-conceived dive into the new world could be a rude awakening for IT organizations. So what's my advice? Look at the end-to-end process for delivering your services, and make sure that you, and those who seek to counsel you, don't over-simplify the solution. It is better to consider the more comprehensive solution than to be stuck with hundreds of angry users that have expectations you can't meet.