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More immediate to Symantec's own plans, Salem said, are signs of growth in the storage and security markets. He cited IDC estimates that storage requirements will grow 400 percent by 2014 while IT budgets will grow only 20 percent and IT resources by 10 percent during the same period.
On the security side, the threat landscape is continuing to change, Salem said. "We've been predicting for a long time [the emergence of] very targeted attacks," he said. "And we're seeing now with Stuxnet that it was a control system of the critical infrastructure around power generation that was attacked. And that's not new. We all kind of expected that. But the attacks have become very, very targeted."
Salem connected all these trends with a story about a hypothetical employee who wakes up in the morning via an alarm clock app on her smart device, and then uses the device to check her business and personal calendars. She then gets an alert from her boss and sends out queries via the company's social network for more information.
The employee then goes to the office and places her smart device down on any open desk where, because her information follows here wherever she goes, she gets the answers from her queries. As she is walking into a meeting with her boss, she collides with a colleague and drops and breaks her device. However, her boss logs out of her device and hands it to the employee who then logs back into her information to do a presentation.
In this situation, Salem said, a lot of things are happening in the data center which are invisible to the user. For instance, if there is a problem in the data center, operations seamlessly switch over to a backup data center. "And that's how the world has to be in the future," he said. "Users cannot have their work interrupted because something happened in the back office."
Next: Implications For The IT World