The chief technology officer of Citrix has predicted that many of the traditional IT industries are a dying breed in the face of the move to a fully cloud-based infrastructure.
Simon Crosby argued during his keynote address to the Citrix Synergy conference that many of the fundamental problems in the technology industry could be removed by a shift to the cloud.
Consumers could pick their own endpoint devices, networks could scale up and down at will and security could be built in and bulletproof.
"Bad guys can change before you can protect from them," Crosby said. "If you thought that traditional anti-virus software will protect you, you're wrong. The traditional security business is done."
Moving to a fully client approach would mean that changes to the user's data would not be signed off if malware had interfered with it. Strong encryption would also mean that, when staff are mobile, data does not go with them in a usable format.
This shift is already happening with private cloud networks, Crosby said. But these too are a dying breed. The future of the cloud lies with a few major providers that can offer cloud access at minimal cost.
Crosby pointed to a server farm run by the Internet Initiative Japan, where shipping containers containing 50,000 servers apiece are hooked up via Xen to power cloud operations at one 20th the cost of a traditional datacentre.
The servers are deliberately not maintained, and are simply replaced when the number of failed servers hits 50 per cent.
"If you are running a private cloud you cannot compete with this," Crosby said. "They can beat you hands down."
However, there is still a perception that cloud services are unreliable, and Crosby suggested that an overseeing body could ensure adherence to common security and operational standards.
He likened the loss of service to a plane crash for the customer if they had no backup systems implemented. When accidents happen they are huge.
However, air accidents are rare because the Federal Aviation Authority ensures common safety standards. Crosby said that the cloud industry could use a similar impetus to provide a common framework for cloud providers to bridge the trust gap for companies.
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