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Rackspace CTO: Stop Investing In Last-Gen Systems

November 11, 2011 No Comments

As the cloud computing era takes hold and SaaS use explodes, it’s time to stop investing in out-dated software and systems, Rackspace CTO John Engates told the crowd Tuesday at Cloud Expo West in Santa Clara, Calif.

To set the stage, Engates laid out the difference a decade makes. In 2001, Windows XP 2001 launched, broadband was slow; Wi-Fi wasn’t trusted; there were no iPhones, smartphones, tablets or 4G; Twitter and Facebook were non-existent; and a user only had about a half-dozen programs on a PC.

“It’s a very different world from the Windows XP desktop,” Engates said, noting that cloud computing introduces a new environment of computing where capacity is instant and available with the click of a button and compute power can be turned off and on at will. He said tablets and smartphones — “the first cloud devices” — dominate. And software that showed up in a box and took weeks to be installed has given way to instant SaaS consumable through a browser.

All that, Engates said, is pointing to a future of an “all cloud enterprise,” though that vision is in the distant future.

Engates warned that while it may be easy to assume that SaaS is the way to go, he said that’s not exactly the case.

“Software-as-a-Service is for everyone, not for everything,” he said, noting that some apps should be left on-premise and various cloud options, including public, private, hybrid, open and others can be the bridge to next generation systems.

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