How have enterprise architectures evolved over the past 10 years and how will it continue to evolve?
Simply put we are pushing more of our computing assets and the infrastructure that supports them out into the Internet / cloud. It began with mobile computing devices, remote offices, and telecommuters and is now moving into aspects of the traditional internal infrastructure, such as storage, application / service delivery, and data management.
This has forced IT to, in some cases, radically redefine the technologies and processes they implement to even provide the basics of availability, maintenance and security.
Mobile Computing and the “Consumerisation” of IT
In the past IT had more freedom to say no to pretty much anything. As soon as they raised security threats flag or tossed around outrageous costs associated with trying to manage said “thing” said “thing” was quickly denied. But it is a new dawn and IT has been forced to shift from the overlords of the word “no” and “sorry, that is against policy” to “uh, yeah, sure you can use that shiny new 3G iPhone to access corporate email, I mean you are the CEO”.
The reality is that a mobile sales force using mobile devices to access a SaaS CRM application in real-time while on the road or an SE being able to quickly resolve a demo problem through the use of IM is powerful and important to productivity and IT must move from limiting the use of new technologies and instead look to enable and support them.
The problem is that most IT organisations simply cannot manage a mobile computing environment, in fact the entire NAC market (Network Access Control) was an industry response to the inability of IT to manage mobile computing environments.
So instead of trying to implement a method to manage the unmanageable the industry decided it would be best to simply block access to corporate resources until the asset could be determined to meet a base level of security.
The IT environment of tomorrow will be dominated by remote, intermittently connected mobile devices that may or may not be corporate owned and will access both corporate resources housed within a companies data center as well as through 3rd party service providers such as SaaS applications or cloud-computing resources.