The End of Corporate Computing
The resulting industry will likely have three major components. At the center will be the IT utilities themselves -- big companies that will maintain core computing resources in central plants and distribute them to end users. Serving the utilities will be a diverse array of component suppliers -- the makers of computers, storage units, networking gear, operating and utility software, and applications. And finally, large network operators will maintain the ultrahigh-capacity data communication lines needed for the system to work.
IT's shift from an in-house capital asset to a centralized utility service will overturn strategic and operating assumptions, alter industrial economics, upset markets and pose daunting challenges to every user and vendor. The history of the commercial application of IT has been characterized by astounding leaps, but nothing that has come before -- not even the introduction of the personal computer or the opening of the Internet -- will match the upheaval that lies just over the horizon.