Hardly any user cares much about the details of computer technologies. Users only wish to receive answers to their queries. They want that instantly and every time. Requested information must be available regardless of the available device they have available. All responses must be secure. There cannot be a limit as to the place from where they make an inquiry. All computer applications must be available but only to the person who is authorized to use it. Communications must include connections to airplanes or ships. The user must be able to read information from any web site, regardless of the language in which it is written.
Information Appliances (IAs) similar to the one shown below represent the way in which users will communicate when information is universally available from a diversity of clouds.
Information appliances are customized to match a person’s identity. They are configured to adapt to the users’ levels of training and language skills. Access privileges apply to the user’s current situation or locations. When a person relocates to use a different IA, whatever computing device is used will be reconfigured to reflect local conditions.
The user has no knowledge as to the location of the servers that drive an IA. The user does not care what operating system created the displays. What language the applications were coded in is irrelevant. If an application displays results derived from diverse databases, the origins and the structure of the data remains hidden.
The centerpiece of the future of the information technology will be the IA, sold as a consumer product through retail channels. IA will be a rapidly obsolescent device that will be treated as a disposable item.
What the user sees reflects the presence of a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud, which is the ultimate objective of all cloud computing. In transition to SaaS cloud computing.
The current focus of IT manage will pass from attempts to control physical assets to an emphasis on the choice of cloud services that can support Information Appliances. We are now entering into Stage III of the transformation of society into an information-dominant culture. What will be Stage IV is yet to emerge, though if we follow past patterns, we should see it emerging before 2040.
Stage I, now largely abandoned spanned from 1955 through 1985. It was centered on mainframe computing, which was totally administered by a closed generation of specialists. Stage II, spanning from a period from 1985 for 30 years. It is centered on the use of personal computers arranged in client-server configurations.
CIOs will concentrate on taking advantage of the universally available cloud services which treat all computing not as dedicated fixed assets, but as accessible utilities, which deliver computer capacity as well as application services to IAs. Instead of managing computing assets as a fixed cost, services will become demand-driven variable costs. Corporate IT departments will ultimately split into the physical side and the user side, with separate organizations and budgets for each. The physical side will continue to own, rent or lease cloud services. The user side of the CIOs job will disappear because every person will be able to make the choices what IAs and what applications to use.