I began my IT career by migrating the company I was working for off of mainframe and onto a client/server environment. That was a major shift in how IT was done at the beginning of the Internet era. During that time, individual business units at many companies stood up their own LAN servers (e.g. Novel NetWare and Microsoft Windows NT Server). You could call this the first instance of “Shadow IT”. At some point, IT departments brought those servers and applications under IT management. VMware then came along and helped those servers and applications to run more efficiently on vSphere.
When cloud emerged, many individual business units started consuming cloud resources at Amazon, Microsoft, and Google and exposing sensitive company data. I was working for EMC at the time as a vSpecialist and remember one of my colleagues talking to a customer about “Shadow IT”. Many IT departments scrambled to gain control of those company assets to secure them. For a while now, VMware has helped IT with its Hybrid Cloud strategy to help support, manage, and secure public and private cloud resources.
In the mobile space, for a long time, many companies would issue cell phones to their employees. Then Apple and Android phones became popular and workers demanded these personal devices be able to access company applications and data. VMware helped IT provide secure access and control with its Mobile Device Management solutions using AirWatch and now Workspace ONE.
Internet of Things (IoT) has been going on for 20+ years back as long as I can remember when my first university internship was helping to build SCADA systems for a power company. Back then and until recently, each IoT use case was implemented and managed by the vendor providing the solution. My friend and colleague, Grant Challenger, posted a blog on the evolution of IoT in the enterprise here: What is IT’s role in IoT? He talks about the challenge with what he calls “Shadow IoT” and how now there’s a need for IT to get involved. Grant also coined the phrase “IT runs IoT” which means that it’s now time to bring IT disciplines to IoT, just like they did for LAN, Cloud, and MDM. This is the problem VMware is now targeting to help IT solve. There are millions of Edge gateways and IoT devices that need to be onboarded, managed, and secured and VMware Pulse IoT Center does just that.
When I was in a meeting last week and “IT runs IoT” came up again, I was sitting next to another long time colleague who was drinking his favorite coffee. So, I had my resident graphics artist create the image you see at the top. I hope you like it!