As science fiction rapidly becomes science fact, what’s the greatest change of all? Our everyday expectations. Consider your first ride in a self-driving car. In the first 60 seconds, you may feel euphoria and deep fear: “Nobody’s driving this thing!” In minutes two and three, there’s fierce questioning: “What if someone swerves into my lane?” By the fourth minute, you’re bored and checking your smartphone. The experience has gone from mind-blowing to mundane in four minutes flat.

Cloud innovation

“As tech reshapes our expectations and transforms every industry, we in the tech industry still have a lot of work to do.”

As tech reshapes our expectations and transforms every industry, we in the tech industry still have a lot of work to do. We must innovate to improve a core building block of digital transformation: The cloud.

From the beginning, the cloud has been a force to dramatically simplify how businesses consume core IT capabilities. It’s reset our expectations about the speed and flexibility of business technology. Yet there’s an acute need now to simplify the cloud experience. Every CIO I talk to is looking for an easier way to manage critical apps and data they’re already running across multiple clouds

Tech centralization

Since the 1970s, we’ve experienced a continuous ebb and flow between the centralization and decentralization of business technology. Over the past decade, the cloud has inspired a move back toward centralization, as a new generation of developers built and housed their apps in services-rich environments like Amazon Web Services.

The cloud model will remain dominant for the next 5 to 10 years, but we can already see where the pendulum is swinging next. With the proliferation of machine-connected devices and powerful use cases for the Internet of Things, we will see massive demand for compute power that extends to the edge. Simply put, cloud to edge — where our physical and digital worlds meet — is the next swing.

It may feel like the pace of technology disruption these days is so dizzying that it couldn’t possibly get any more intense. Yet here’s the science fact: The pace of change right now is the absolute slowest it will be for the rest of your life. Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a fascinating ride.