Saturday, January 13, 2018

Set-top box phenomena happening also now with the IT products?

Today we have many networking and security features which we need in a hybrid cloud environment. We need 'firewalling' on both network and application level. We need also all kinds of intrusion prevention techniques. Authentication is a key as well as federating the authentication to different services. For most of these things we have nowadays a separate device. Some of the features can be done within the same device, but not all. And if you're a company using both local datacenter and different cloud based applications like O365, Salesforce etc, then you'll be using many different cloud environments. In that case you'll need the same kind of solutions in both physical and in the virtualized environments. And keep in mind that both the local datacenter and the cloud service (Azure, AWS, Google etc) are based on hardware which has a virtualized layer on top. In the end they're all just datacenters, whether it's your or someone else's datacenter. So we need to protect both layers, physical and virtual. And don't count on it that the service provider, into who's cloud you put your virtual servers and applications, would be protecting your data and applications. That is always your responsibility in the end - you're the one losing most if and when something happens.

For most of the security needs we have either hardware or software product to do it's job. The problem is that there's no silver bullet, not a one solution that could tackle everything. So we need multiple point-solutions to do its job. This reminds me of the set-top box era in the television industry, where there was needed awkward separate products sitting on top of the TV-set. And as the time passed those products were integrated into the TV sets. We don't need those separate boxes anymore and the ones we had are now junk. The same will mostly happen to the products that we're using today as a separate solutions. They will migrate and vanish as a separate products. Instead new products will come, but for a totally different purpose. The ones we have today will be mostly gone in  a few years time.

So this puts a pressure to IT manufacturers to stay ahead and develop new things as the revenue stream that is coming now from the present products will be decreasing rapidly. It is also a chance for the newcomers to enter the market. The ones who are agile enough and who don't let the legacy products to dictate where to go or what to do. We're seeing the similar problem nowadays in the professional DSLR camera market, where the giants Canon and Nikon are struggling with their DSLR cameras that are still using mirror inside the camera body to produce the picture. They have a huge manufacturing stock with the stuff they've been selling for years and moving to something totally new and different seems to be very difficult and slow task to achieve. We've seen already for years that cameras are going to be mirrorless in the future and they're still not there in their professional cameras. This has given Sony with their mirrorless cameras a chance to steal the market share from these two. History has so many examples what happens when you stop developing something totally new and don't stay ahead and try to fight against the progress that happens with or without you.

So we who are working in the IT industry need to start thinking already years ahead. 5 to 10 years from now. What it's probably going to be like at that time and what it means to us? We need to start adjusting right away, not only our products but also our services and knowledge to meet those future demands. Only then we can still be on the market and even grow our market share.

It's time to place your bets ladies and gentlemen!