Dr. Pehong Chen – The Challenge for IT

Of course, it’s hard to really see that far 5 years out, but I do think that something is for sure, that is a major IT generation tends to last more like 30 years and the last generation of the…sort of the Wintel, Windows and Intel, pretty much dictated, dominated how we do our work for about 30 years. This new paradigm that’s coming along, based on something that I call VMMS where V stands for virtualization which is merely around cloud computing, mobilization of course is everywhere and every time kind of an access, and then finally to socialization which is really about as many-to-many collaborations as opposed to one-to-many type that we’re very used to in the past. The convergence of these 3 mega trends I think will pretty much define this next generation for the coming years, I don’t know how long it will be but there’s no question in my mind, I think most people will agree that they would fundamentally just change how things used to be done before.

I think the biggest challenge in all this on the positive side is we tend to not learn, have learned, to make things a lot more palatable to the user, meaning more consumerized because in the past we always had the so-called Sunday night blues meaning, “jeez I have to go back to work again Monday” and facing all these terrible tools that we have in the company whereas during the weekend I can be on Facebook or into other consumer things that’s a lot more pleasant experience [0:02:00]. So I think that’s changing of course, we certainly are endeavoring to make more things a lot more consumer…sort of best of both worlds. To experience a lot more, like the consumer services, that kind of a usability and the familiarity now that people are demanding. But also bringing to bear our 20 years experience in terms of enterprise grade, things that would have around you know, security, scalability, access control, privacy, things that enterprise really care about. In doing so, you keep people at a more open environment for collaboration but you also allow them to control what’s necessary and are very much critical to the enterprise use cases.

So essentially how I see that is a flip of the paradigm, because before everything is top down, it’s push-faced, it’s control-command-and control, so that 80-20 rule was leaning toward that side, the closed side and the open side is no, few and far between.

I think that our social phenomenon will allow us to flip that coin so that the 80% of the time that DIVO is sharing, well you still need to offer everyone the ability to control that 20% which has to be a built-in or a sort of a guarded as close to totally random or not properly controlled. So I think a lot of people mistakenly have been trying to bind the government’s policy with the underlying mechanism and in doing so making it extremely difficult or too rigid for this kind of social phenomenon to take hold. Our goal here is to decouple the two, so that you can still set your policy, your governance, but allowing the mechanism to be totally distributed to the users. We call that DIY, Do-It-Yourself, because if everything has to go back to IT, it will be really, really hard to make it happen.

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