Sonny, I Remember Working on a Computer that Weighed like 20lbs!

A recent article from IDC PC Shipments Post the Steepest Decline Ever… shows that despite a hefty 7.7% expected decline, PC’s still exceeded expectations. With an actual drop of 13.9% to 14.2 million units in 1Q13 compared to the same period last year this year marks the greatest decline since IDC began tracking the metric in 1994. To put it in perspective, during 1Q03 34.5 million units were sold, a 58% drop in a decade. This calls into question the relevancy of not only the PC, but of local computing altogether.

For the past 4 years, when I began speaking about the cloud and what it can eventually bring to the party, I was amazed by how many Baby Boomers began to tell stories about programming mainframes with punch-cards. Centralized computing is old school they said, it all goes in circles they also said. I remember working on WYSE terminals connected to a VAX-VMS mainframe during college and I thought Bulletin Boards and email were the coolest things ever, but seriously? To compare Mainframes built in the 80’s with the cloud of today is like saying that the Apollo program is just a new version of the hot air balloon. Computing of today is not only mission critical, but I think it is easier to imagine a zombie apocalypse than a world without tech. There is no stuffing the genie back into the bottle.

With SaaS providers like Sales-Force, Azure, and Office365, the cloud is providing the horsepower. When all you need is a browser, all you need is a phone, tablet, or phablet. With the migration of ones pics, music, and video to the cloud, local storage plays a backseat to reliable and fast internet connections. For the masses who do actually need some local computing power, Samsung announced an 8 core processor for 2013, yea… a PHONE! What about gaming you say, well what about Xbox and Playstation? Have you been to an arcade lately, what happened to all the video games? What happened was that the power of Game consoles and the quality of the games got so good that the appeal to spend .50 (I know I am dating myself) for 5 minutes of gameplay just isn’t there. Now don’t get me wrong, there are still some uses for PC’s (for now), but the point is that as the sales of PC’s drop, the competition will get tighter until the profit just isn’t there. PC’s will eventually become a niche market.

What does that all mean? PC repair technicians should definitely have some other skills in their repertoire. KSA’s in mobility and security will be in every successful admin’s bag of tricks. CIO’s will need to look at not only SaaS options but IaaS and even PaaS (Cisco bought Meraki for 1.2 billion to play in that market). It’s not all bad, IT departments can really get away from the autonomic functions that keep the network breathing and move on to the cognitive functions that help a business achieve its objectives more efficiently and profitably, you know actually do something that others in the company will notice and maybe even thank you for.

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~ by lavazzza on April 11, 2013.

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