VMware CEO Maritz: Legacy Apps Aren't Going Away Soon

That's the key takeaway from speech that VMware CEO Paul Maritz gave Thursday at Wyse Technology's CIO Summit in Las Vegas. Maritz, who delivered the VMworld 2011 keynote earlier this week, said the rise of consumer IT is generating disruption that will continue to play out in enterprise for the next decade or so.

The rise of mobile devices in businesses is a prime example of consumer IT moving beyond its original boundaries and into an area where it's having far reaching consequences. Maritz said this is going to continue to force IT departments to rethink the way they approach things like security and management.

"Enterprises are going to comprehensively lose control of what people are holding in their hands," Maritz said at the event. "In the unruly world of consumer computing, they'll have to reconcile with how to deliver secure capabilities to the end user."

The consumer IT trend is also driven by the growing industry frustration with IT, according to Maritz.

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"People are getting tired of spending 60 to 70 percent of their budgets just keeping the trains running. As consumer IT emerges, businesses are going to need to devote more of their budgets to it. We're entering an era in which consumers expect information in a different way," he said.

The proliferation of mobile devices is driving technologies like HTML, as well as new programming frameworks and a new set of canonical applications, Maritz said.

"With that number of connected users, there's a premium on real time analytics and response. In this new world, we're going to have to respond to consumers in real time," he said.

Real time analytics weren't possible in the client-server world, which instead enabled communication through static reports or paper, noted Maritz. And relational databases, as transformational as they've been for IT, can't handle the scale needed to deliver real time analysis, Maritz said.

To address future challenges, Maritz said there will be an emergence of new data fabrics. "The challenge for the industry will be in building that underlying infrastructure that will carry both the client server and the new real time applications," he said.

"There's a big body of client server apps that people just can't walk away from overnight," Maritz continued. "We're going to have to jack them up and slide new functionality underneath to allow them to function in a fundamentally more efficient way."

Enterprise IT is well acquainted with the benefits of abstracting functionality from physical hardware and the decoupling of apps from the silos they live in, said Maritz. The same will need to happen in the end user world, but there are both technical and business challenges that will have to be overcome, he said.

"This is a tough journey because device manufacturers don’t like to hear about device independence. This is going to be done in fits and starts along the way," said Maritz.