I have long been talking to clients (especially small businesses) about the fact that they do not need to keep servers on-premise to do their work. In a press release dated 1/13/10 where Gartner lists its key predictions for IT in 2010 and beyond (read here), the first highlight is a prediction that by 2012, 20% of businesses will own no IT assets.
By 2012, 20 percent of businesses will own no IT assets. Several interrelated trends are driving the movement toward decreased IT hardware assets, such as virtualization, cloud-enabled services, and employees running personal desktops and notebook systems on corporate networks.
The need for computing hardware, either in a data center or on an employee’s desk, will not go away. However, if the ownership of hardware shifts to third parties, then there will be major shifts throughout every facet of the IT hardware industry. For example, enterprise IT budgets will either be shrunk or reallocated to more-strategic projects; enterprise IT staff will either be reduced or reskilled to meet new requirements, and/or hardware distribution will have to change radically to meet the requirements of the new IT hardware buying points.