Marshall McLuhan’s famous quote, “The medium is the message,” has never been more true than today. The embedded concept of media enablement offers digital marketers a limitless landscape to convey their messages and interact with their customers. And, as the world of IT evolves to service-based technologies, a transformative vision exists of an evolution to an environment based on listening and conversing with internal customers, and of offering technical and communications solutions to them.
Cloud computing, for example, is an obvious game-changer that is a catalyst for moving to the new paradigm of IT, bringing with it a new dialogue for IT professionals to have with their users. The new focus for IT is on application delivery and the continual optimization of operating expenses instead of on network performance and the management of robust, home-built networksand the associated capital expense. Tihis is an entirely different view.
Correspondingly, the deployment of VPNs has offered telecom managers a platform for more precise, Class-of-Service-level optimization of network traffic. Management portals and tools are available to offer continual visibility of network performance. Although VPN technology has changed the game of network management, it is still inherently a centrally-managed network architecture combined with the traditional model of command and control.
Taken in combination with cloud, the model changes exponentially. Cloud is, by definition, a user-based technology–with business units making the utilization decisions based on the velocity of their business needs, the rapid deployment of their applications, and the cost-effectiveness offered by operational expenditures (OPEX).
With users in control, the IT manager must now work to understand user needs and offer much greater consultative support. Relationship building is front and center as IT must solidify its role as a business partner. IT’s new role is to confer with users on how to take advantage of the network technologies available to them and how to make decisions that match their business requirements. Good IT managers do that today – but I am suggesting that it become the new normal. With this model, IT professionals can turn their attention to a new value proposition based on new technologies and an understanding that the cloud offers a new and exciting paradigm of creativity. VPNs and cloud – these are the best of an evolving world.