In the second installment of a two-part series, Jim Stikeleather, Dell’s Chief Innovation Officer, goes into greater specifics about the ways in which IT’s role will evolve. He describes a not-too-distant future where IT will begin to deliver services on three levels. First is fabric—things like network, servers and storage but with less emphasis on the hardware, and more on handling workloads and delivering information to the organization. On top of this, IT will be responsible for procuring and managing “industrialized services” from a variety of parties, including the internal IT organization itself. At the highest level, IT will provide the business services that are going to differentiate the organization and add value to the customers of the organization.
All of this adds up to a very specific value proposition for the IT organization, and Jim goes on to detail how IT is going to get there, such as through standardization, simplification and automation. The end point of all this is a content-centric model for IT and content-centric processing—assembling functionality when needed to accomplish the work—which ultimately leads to an infrastructure in which the technology is invisible. It functions on the content and the context of the content, such as how the information is being used, by whom and for what purposes. This is the core of what is sometimes called “converged infrastructure” or “fabric computing.”