Richard Waters and Chris Nattal over at The Financial Times once wrote a nice article entitled Cloud threatens to end PC’s reign looking at the impact cloud services adoption is having on the PC.
They do a great job pointing out that in this “post-PC” era, sales of PCs are still at 400m units annually and growing, but at the same time we are seeing a proliferation of new devices. Smartphones, tablets, and netbooks are becoming the new computing form factor of choice. Even the once rock solid Wintel alliance is being shattered with Microsoft releasing new versions of Windows running natively on ARM processors and Intel trying to get into any device possible – regardless of the operating system.
At Okta we see this device proliferation in our customer base and think that this is a trend that is not only here to stay, but that is accelerating. Users will have a myriad of devices that they will use to get to their applications and services which are increasingly being run in the cloud. In fact some devices, like Google’s chromebook, are being optimized exclusively to access services that are run in the cloud.
In this new Post-PC, Cloud First world, the only thing that is consistent across all of these devices and all of these services is the person who owns the device or is accessing the service.
In this new world Identity matters.
Within companies this shift, and the rising importance of Identity, is causing IT to completely rethink how they manage, secure and integrate an increasing number of cloud services with their existing infrastructure and how to best ensure that their employees get access to the services they need, when they need them, from whatever device they are using. Traditional on premise security and management solutions that are oriented around securing and managing PCs, servers, and client-server applications will not translate into this “Post-Systems Management” era.
Security and Management in these new infrastructures has to be about 2 things. The Identity and The Service. Further, the security and management solutions to manage these cloud services should themselves be cloud native, easy to use, require no upfront investment, and scale effortlessly.
At Okta we are building a set of such on-demand services to help Cloud First IT organizations make this move and effectively secure, manage and integrate their cloud services with their on-prem infrastructure and make sure that their cloud services are secure, their users are productive, and they are getting a great ROI out of their cloud investments.
As we say on our Career’s site, “The future is cloudy and we couldn’t be happier about it”.