Are You Ready for the Cloud and the Consumerization of IT?

Microsoft developer trends out of TechEd 2010

How does a developer decide what to do next? He or she could do worse than to take a cue from Microsoft, who also rather urgently must decide what to do next and who also wants to win big. At TechEd 2010 Microsoft signaled two zeitgeist-shifting trends: the inevitable restructuring of corporate IT as cloud computing rolls in and the consumerization of IT—that is, the pumped-up alterations in workplace devices employees will expect/demand because that’s how they play, and how that’s how they roll.

If an offhand recommendation of Thomas Kuhn’s classic The Structure of Scientific Revolutions made by a Microsoft VP at the conference is any indication, Microsoft execs are immersing themselves in the rhetoric needed to describe a paradigm shift already underway. The cloud and consumerization movements, in a one-two punch, push ultimate decision-making away from its traditional IT owners. The challenge to IT is to push back by changing with the changes and by realizing that developers are uniquely positioned to facilitate these shifts and prepare for the next wave.

The movement toward the cloud is typically viewed as a business decision maker’s intercession in the daily life of IT based on the usual acronyms—increasing ROI and decreasing TCO—while also moving information to distant data centers. However, as the model changes, new IT and development challenges arise. For technologists who also understand business requirements this will be an exciting time. The consumerization movement comes roaring out of the home, millions of thumbs twirling, driven by requirements of the millennial generation and gadget and game lovers of every age for sophisticated graphics, swift modes of interpersonal engagement, a personal soundtrack, and sleek, cool portability. Your grampy’s enterprise systems look mighty stodgy and practically unusable to these highly trained consumerists. While this state of affairs will cause some short-term angst, the need to reengineer systems is already engendering a renaissance in design and development.

And that’s where we come in. At DevProConnections we give you the practical content you need to succeed in this new environment. So far this year, with the guidance of our guest editors we’ve kept you abreast of Silverlight, the latest Visual Studio 2010 advances, what’s new in .NET Framework 4.0. We’ve drilled deep into Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), ASP.NET MVC, and this month we’re exploring jQuery. We’re planning issues that focus on software design, data, the cloud, the application life cycle, and the coming together of system administrators and developers. We regularly cover Silverlight, Windows Workflow, Federated Security, MVC, and more.

We’re working on our editorial calendar for next year. Of course we’ll have articles on developing for mobile devices, more Silverlight, and so on. What do you want to see in the mag and online? Drop me a line at [email protected] com.

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