Thomas Bittman

A member of the Gartner Blog Network

Thomas J. Bittman
VP Distinguished Analyst
18 years at Gartner
29 years IT industry

Thomas Bittman is a vice president and distinguished analyst with Gartner Research. Mr. Bittman has led the industry in areas such as private cloud computing and virtualization. Mr. Bittman invented the term "real-time infrastructure," which has been adopted by major vendors and many… Read Full Bio

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Our Kids Are Pushing Us

by Tom Bittman  |  January 7, 2009  |  3 Comments

Why is virtualization important? Why is cloud computing compelling? Why is agility becoming so important in data centers?

It isn’t simply about saving money – although that does help create a business case. It’s about our inevitable cultural speed shift, and it’s driven by our kids.

When I was young, I wanted everything “now”. We all did. But we also learned that reality wasn’t quite so fast. We learned to adjust to the speed of the world. And we entered the workforce.

 buyitnow It’s different with our kids. They also want everything “now”. The big, big difference is that they often get it. Want some music? Buy it, it’s downloaded, start listening. Want to know what others think about it? Just look at the feedback. Trying to remember that movie with that great line? Just Google it. Don’t like the answer it finds? There are thousands more. Trying to buy something online and the site is too slow? Go to another site. Done.

Two months ago a young local boy was killed in an accident on a Saturday night. Sunday morning the school had teachers contact parents to tell them there had been a death, and counseling would be available for students Monday morning. But before school, hundreds of students became members of a Facebook page memorializing the boy. Kids were sharing rumors and speculation on how the boy died, and counseling each other. The school system was operating at 1980s speed – far too slow.

A few weeks ago my daughter was accepted to her (and our!) first choice college. By the end of the day someone had set up a Facebook page for that school’s class of 2013, more than 200 kids had found it and were talking, my daughter started meeting other students, sharing their majors, talking about dorms. The same day!

Kids want everything now, but unlike my generation, they get it now. What’s important to remember, however, is these kids will become our employees, our business partners, our customers, and our bosses.

Go ahead and save money with virtualization. Use cloud computing for economies of scale and low-cost commodity services. But strategically, it will be about elasticity and speed.

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