February 2012 – Prepared by Zeus Kerravala

The role of the CIO has changed more in the past five years than any other in the business world. Several IT forces have come together to usher in a new era of IT — the network computing revolution. This transition created new expectations from business leaders and corporate workers, as IT is now tasked with delivering a high quality, consistent experience to all users. At one time the thought of delivering any application to any device over any network was just a vision, but today it’s expected. Network computing is making that vision a reality. The primary forces driving this shift are:

  • The evolution of applications: Historically, applications were built in tightly defined silos. Today’s applications are created by “mashing up” application components and running them on virtual infrastructure. This application model is highly dependent on the network because of its distributed nature.
  • Cloud computing: Cloud has been on IT’s radar for several years now. Today, there are enough best practices and production deployments to allow IT to move cloud from vision to reality. The shift to cloud changes the dynamics of IT, as cloud is the most network-centric computing model to date.

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