In order to understand the complexities IT professionals face today, consider the relevance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to end users. Millions of web pages are available, so SEO is essential. Securing top positions for the right search terms makes it easier to find the correct solution.
Conversely, millions of solutions are available to IT professionals, yet there is no search engine available today that is able to retrieve the correct tools capable of managing the Third Platform. What are the items a search engine provides today? Typically, these include: documents, web pages, videos, maps, music, etc. Each of these items needs some type of user agent to make it usable. In order to create an IT solution, it is necessary to first understand what the demands of the user agent are. Specifically, the IT solution user agent must be able to display the solution very much like a typical web page and—more importantly—enable one or more of the following operations: monitor; manage, and provision.
Emerging from browser technology today is a new capability called “responsive UX,” which is made up of individual building blocks called widgets. Popular frameworks including Google’s Angular JS make it possible to use these widgets to create a system for executing tasks that can monitor, manage and provision an IT infrastructure.
Using these widgets it is possible to express an IT solution. This requires the widgets to enable describing the IT solution. Then, enable the IT solution to execute changes in the infrastructure. And ultimately, to enable the IT solution to be searchable in the form of a “feature document.” A feature document is an expression of an IT solution that is readable by search engines for retrieval and which can execute the aforementioned operations: monitor; manage; and provision.
“Google generation”1 is a popular term referring to a generation of young people, born after 1993, who are growing up in a world dominated by the internet. For them, constant connectivity–being in touch with friends and family at any time from any place and any device–is of utmost importance2. According to Wikipedia, the phrase has entered popular vernacular as “a shorthand way of referring to a generation whose first port of call for knowledge is the internet and a search engine.”
This Google generation-driven demand for enhanced capabilities is placing increasing pressure on IT professionals to find more intuitive, AI-enabled ways to support the growing number of devices, applications and the “internet of things” (IoT). The IoT connects devices and data, integrating business systems across any platform or operating system. In essence, IoT promises to revolutionize business practices by linking physical and digital worlds together and bringing so-called “Big Data” to the next level. Now, businesses will have more tools at the ready to help them un-tap the potential of information they are already gathering, allowing them to improve operating efficiency and deliver more robust end-user applications. McKinsey Global Institute estimates that applications enabled by IoT will generate between $3.9 and $11.1 trillion per year in new economic value by 2025.2
Clearly, the confluence of enabling technologies will demand a robust, searchable and scalable IT solution to execute changes in infrastructure.
Hamid Jamali, “The Google generation: the information behavior of the researcher of the future,” ResearchGate, accessed June 16, 2014, http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Hamid R Jamali/publication/215500461
Jason Frand, “The Information Mindset,” 2000, September/October 2000, p.15.
The development of mainframe computing in the 1950s came to be known as the First Platform. Its development revolved around the needs of the enterprise, with very little focus on the specialized needs of end-users.
Driven by the promise of lower cost of ownership and simplified deployment and use, the Second Platform emerged in the 1980s with a marked focus on developing Personal Computer (PC) technologies. Continuing evolution is causing a significant paradigm shift toward meeting the needs of end user in the IT landscape.
Today, the trend toward improving end-user experiences and IT efficiency has led to the development of the Third Platform. First identified and described by International Data Corporation (IDC) in 2007, the Third Platform is defined by the following four pillars:
Support for a plethora of mobile devices
Big Data and associated analytics, such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The consumer with limited IT expertise is driving the evolution of the Third Platform and growing demand for simplified, automated solutions. For example, the ability to manage cloud computing solutions using terms they understand without requiring intervention by highly trained IT professionals. Until now, simplified solutions to meet these needs have not been available.
However when combining a responsive UX technology stack with machine-assisted learning & search engine technologies, it is possible for the IT professional to state a management goal in natural language, and the system will respond seamlessly with options that optimize performance and/or capacity.
This solution is ideally suited to address the needs of the consumer as well. As hardware and software firms adjust their business models to align more closely with the needs and demands of consumers before those of the enterprise, the blending of responsive UX technologies with artificial intelligence is enabling Goal Oriented UX experiences.