All of the technology I’ve seen at Cisco Live Europe this week has been interesting in one way or another. No one comes to exhibit their stuff because it’s totally junk; of course it has merit in one way or another.
But there’s one thing that is setting vendors apart in my mind in 2016 and especially in T’ Internet O’ Tings era. [Watch the video below to learn about it from a true visionary, John Harrington] And that is simplicity. As with many important industry trends, some manufacturers and ISVs just get it and some just don’t get it.
— Stephen Foskett (@SFoskett) February 15, 2016
Limited Operational Resources
There are substantial technical challenges with being prepared for the sweeping influx of IoT technologies and responsibilities IT organizations will have to deal with. But those are the ones that products are being created to solve. We’ve heard about some amazing technologies this week that are being developed by Cisco.
But as the image to the right from the presentation regarding the Digital Ceiling launch illustrates, a large number of devices are about to come under the control of IT that we’ve never had to deal with before, like sensors, lights, and HVAC. (There are many GREAT reasons that this should happen, and I’m not saying we don’t want these technological advances.)
This poses a significant operational challenge because despite the awesome technology, there’s going to be a scaling issue. If current operational techniques stay the same, as device count increases administrator count will need to increase as well. This is a real problem if IT budgets remain flat (which surveys show is likely the case for the near future). Without additional funds to hire personnel capacity, the only option is for IT organizations to do more with less. Hence my demand for simplicity.
I’m not naming any names because I don’t think that’s helpful. Overall, I think that perhaps the smaller companies are more aware of the need for simplicity because of their constraints and some of the much larger ones aren’t aware of that need because money isn’t as much of an issue. (“Just hire a few more folks!” “Hire a consultant!”) I hope that we’ll see as much focus on simplicity from all the big players soon as we’ve seen in cases like VSAN and EVO:RAIL. Regardless of how those products fare from a feature/maturity/technology standpoint, they’ve nailed it from a simplicity standpoint. I hope we can expect to see more technology innovations follow suit.