What is Happening?  Last week, Saugatuck attended the Wells Fargo Tech Summit in San Francisco, moderating a panel and meeting with a number of industry leaders.

This was the second year that we participated in the conference – which we greatly value as another important window into the dynamics shaping the market for business computing products and services – in this case a Wall Street perspective.

Day 1 of the event was filled with an all-star cast of industry leaders. I especially valued John Chambers (CEO, Cisco) opening keynote, as well as the Consumerization of IT panel, Jason Maynard’s (Wells Fargo’s lead software analyst) fireside chat with Safra Catz (CFO, Oracle) – as well as the panel that I moderated on the Future of IT (with senior executives from Snaplogic, ServiceMesh, Deloitte and Nodeable). One of the highlights of the morning session was a short presentation by Biri Singh (Head of Cloud Services, HP), where he outlined at a high level HP’s new holistic Cloud strategy that was subsequently announced this past Tuesday (see Saugatuck’s initial take in our Lens 360 blog post, “HP Cloud Update: Solid Strategy and a Top-down Mandate”). 

But I especially valued a presentation by Malcolm Frank (EVP & Head of Marketing and Strategy, Cognizant Technology Solutions, NASDAQ: CTSH) – who shared his scenario around the key forces helping to shape the future of work (i.e., globalization, the rise of Millennials, and the impact of new technologies on both the way we work and how they are helping to transform business processes).

Frank’s thesis is that a new Master IT Architecture is emerging, as mainstream corporate IT now shifts from the client/server stack to a new “Cloud / Mobility / Social / Analytics” stack – or what Frank shorthanded as “So-Mo.” In his view, all four technologies will be central to this new master architecture through 2020. He went on to share that many portions of current business (and IT) models in use are rendered obsolete in this new environment, with “massive potential for value creation at the intersection of business process and the new technology stack.” Malcolm suggested in particular that just as “Industrial BPR + Client / Server” provided massive productivity gains 1990-2010, the combination of “Knowledge BPR + Social Computing” will likewise provide similar productivity gains 2010-2020.

Why is it Happening?  It is always rewarding to listen and learn from industry leaders whose vision in many regards maps to Saugatuck’s perspective. In fact, we have long held a very broad view of Cloud IT and Cloud Business that encompasses not only pure “cloud” technologies (e.g., IaaS, PaaS and SaaS, or Cloud Business Solutions), but a range of related technologies that are dramatically helping to reshape the business computing landscape. In this regard, the timing of Frank’s presentation was prescient – as it paralleled the development of a new Strategic Perspective entitled Boundary-free Enterprise™: Empowered by the New Master Architecture published earlier this week (premium Saugatuck subscribers can access this by clicking here; and non-clients can click here to purchase a la carte).

In our view, every ten to fifteen years a new master architecture emerges that provides businesses and individuals the ability to get their work done in a new computing paradigm. Usually the computing paradigm is based on a technology platform such as mainframe or client / server or Cloud. However, similar to Frank’s view, we are now witnessing the emergence of a new master architecture that is not based on a single computing-platform paradigm but rather on multiple technologies and platforms that build synergies among themselves through loosely coupled and opportunistic exchanges of value.

Today’s businesses and individuals are less encumbered by constraints of time and place, doing their work through a new array of time- and location-independent computing capabilities – Cloud, Mobile, Social and Data Analytics (CMSA) plus Integration – that make the Boundary-free Enterprise possible. Integration is the glue that links these capabilities together and joins them to on-premises data assets in data centers where mission-critical money systems still operate behind highly secure firewalls.

What we envisioned in 2008 (when we first outlined/framed our vision of the Boundary-free Enterprise) is fast becoming reality in 2012. Though no two Boundary-free Enterprises are exactly alike, businesses now have begun to reconfigure how computing resources are deployed to take advantage of anytime/anyplace hybrid computing through an emerging master architecture depicted in Figure 1 below:

Image Source: Saugatuck Technology

For an extended version of this Research Alert, visit Saugatuck Technology.

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