IT services are at the core, where will the hardware go?

The enterprise market is undergoing significant changes.

Ali's small loan business does not have a loan officer, all Internet operations, supported by big data analysis. In this mode, the cost of each loan it lends is almost zero. "In this era, the business is driven by big data. The idea of ​​developing application software has also changed - it may not be based on functionality, but based on the data behind it." Alibaba Cloud Mobile Cloud Director Yang Ming said "The big data may be some of our 'most worthless' data. It's not necessarily the financial data, business data of the company, it may be some fragmented data on the Internet. Like the fast taxi, the data we use. It is to find a master and find a position."

Hardware trap

In addition to big data drives, next-generation applications have chosen to move first. In the United States, a startup that is using mobile technology is changing hotel leasing and management. It does not have a full-time service staff, which makes its room price just a fraction of that of a similar hotel. When a guest is about to check in, the mobile management system will prompt a nearby part-time service staff to the hotel to welcome guests. Guests will receive a tablet computer after check-in, and room cleaning, catering and car rental services are all booked on the tablet. Mobile technology is disrupting traditional industries. Traditional companies are also aware that if they do not launch services on the mobile side, they may die soon.

In the era of mobile internet, telecom operators have also found a huge gap between their existing internal resources and existing customer needs. In the past three years, Shanghai Mobile has been doing one thing – splitting the original core system like Boss (Business Operations Support System) into more than 2,000 small and micro services. “In the past, these systems were probably the complex systems that hundreds of people developed for N years. But in the current trend of fragmentation, companies want to provide flexible services quickly, or to access and cooperate with third parties faster. The system has fragmentation requirements.” Liu Yadong, chairman of Puyuan Software, who is working with Shanghai Mobile to carry out system transformation, said, “This is like Lego Toys. The advantage is that every small piece is easy to use and flexible enough to respond to change.”

A new generation of enterprise-class software has also become light, with a social component. Google and emerging Internet companies offer a large amount of such software, such as Google's communication and integration tools Gmail, G+, Yammer and Asana's enterprise collaboration platform. "They subvert the way we traditionally use software. It is no longer a traditional ERP. It must be installed and do a lot of work." Chi Jianqiang, deputy dean of Ruiyou Technology IT Application Research Institute, who has been engaged in enterprise management software development for many years, observes "And, these software platforms are all open to more third-party software companies to provide more services." At the same time, these applications are more concerned with individuals, not already customized to a certain department of the enterprise. Instead, it is tailored to each individual in the organization.

Applications are also increasingly being delivered in the form of services. Software as a service is provided by companies represented by Salesforce in the United States. In China, the “Cold Chain and Logistics Vehicle Supervision Service System” on the cloud platform of the National Agricultural Information Technology Engineering Research Center provides services for logistics enterprises engaged in fresh fruit cold chain transportation business through cloud services. As long as the logistics company opens an account on the cloud platform and puts the corresponding sensor device on the transport vehicle, it can log in to the cloud platform at any time to check the location of the vehicle, the temperature and humidity of the cabinet, and the concentration of “ethanol and ethylene”. The value can estimate the maturity of the fruit. According to these circumstances, managers of logistics companies can better manage logistics, and the fees paid are not expensive. At present, Jingdong also extracts solutions based on its experience in e-commerce operations, providing software services such as trading, marketing, supply chain, warehousing and distribution in the enterprise-level market in the form of cloud services. At the same time, more and more software services have adopted "Internet thinking", which is free for users of primary functions, and only charges when using more advanced services. It is foreseeable that the traditional licensing model cannot last forever.

Now, "Internet of Things" or "Internet of every things" has almost become a mantra. In 2010, the number of connected devices on the Internet exceeded the global population. According to forecasts, by 2020, there will be 50 billion devices connected to the Internet worldwide. And this trend is accelerating. Some pointed out that by 2025, the number of devices connected to the Internet will reach 1 trillion. In the field of Internet of Things, people are most concerned about how it is used in health services. According to the World Health Organization, 246 million people worldwide suffer from varying degrees of visual impairment, which prevents them from interacting easily with the world around them.

Recently, the Israeli startup OrCam has developed a “wearable camera” that is very small and can be mounted on any pair of glasses. For example, front-end sensors and back-end clouds, the camera can help visually impaired patients see the world and understand the world. It can read newspaper books, know which bus is driving into the station, and the name of the street in the current location, which is a boon for visually impaired patients. Personal health or telemedicine devices connected to the Internet of Things will show great potential in monitoring an ageing society and improving people's overall quality of life.

Not only the application itself, but also the application developer community has changed. Not long ago, in a coffee shop near the Olympic Park, cloud service provider Amazon AWS held a communication event, participants are basically ordinary developers. AWS people tell me that AWS is very concerned about the developer community. The general development community is becoming one of the most active innovation groups. "There are hundreds of thousands of 'micro-apps' on the Apple AppStore. These little things may not be called software." Liu Yadong said, "When people's behavior is fragmented and the development environment is clouded, anyone can write software and develop models. There will be changes accordingly."

“In the last five years, the application has changed dramatically,” said Frank Gens, senior vice president of IDC. In the mainframe era, there were only a few thousand applications in the industry; in the client/server and Web era, applications increased to tens of thousands; now, in the new era of cloud computing, mobility, big data, and social features, applications have Increased to millions, with more than one-third of the global population.

This large-scale application, the global application development model, also drives the transformation of IT infrastructure. IT as a service becomes the core – IT needs to be provided in the form of services, and it is necessary to define service levels to meet the needs of large-scale, cost-effective, and interoperable.

This change has also changed the leading position of the IT ecosystem. The new leaders are Internet giants such as Google, Amazon AWS and Facebook. The data centers built by these Internet giants are big enough to make their own purchasing decisions; they have the resources to research, embrace, and deploy emerging technologies; they have strong software development capabilities to implement their favorite architectures, so Commonly used in the market is not generally adopted; they are endlessly pursuing cost optimization and increasing the revenue generated per dollar and per watt. Because of the huge influence, the Internet giant is changing the ecological chain of the entire infrastructure industry.

They have overturned the way that infrastructure vendors used to provide dedicated infrastructure and solutions for each project, and they have changed the way traditional IT leaders have used hardware replacement cycles to influence and drive customers to perform hardware updates. For example, according to the traditional law, every 3 to 5 years to replace the server, 2012 should be the time to replace the server, but the server manufacturers' revenue decreased by 14.1%. IDC expects that the scale of traditional IT infrastructure sales will not grow in the next 5 to 10 years. For this reason, IT infrastructure vendors that remain in the traditional mode can only transform.

So, how should the IT infrastructure industry led by companies with pure Internet genes, such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook, respond?

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