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This Blog May Have Jumped the Shark

Meaning anything that has either hung around too long, is past it’s prime or is simply fallen off the hype cliff

Really?  Already?!?

For whatever reason, the term ‘Jump the Shark’ has been jumping out at me recently.  From the Jump the Shark Hat Tutorial to watching past episodes of Supernatural on Netflix to Cloud Computing to the many #jumptheshark tags added to tweeps tweets.  Originally linked to the Happy Days episode where the water-skiing Fonz jumps over a shark, it has since become the term to describe when writer’s storylines have moved into the absurd and the show itself quickly deteriorates.  Today it is attached to almost anything that has either hung around too long, is past it’s prime or is simply fallen off the hype-cliff.  I sometimes feel this way after producing a bunch of videos (like the last two weeks) and need to get back to writing…like this entry.  So I decided to investigate a couple recent hype technologies (that I also write about) and if they’ve already Jumped the Shark.

Rumblings of Cloud Computing jumping the shark came as early as 2009 and 2010.  In 2009 PCWorld ran an article titled, Has Cloud Computing Jumped the Shark? talking about the different definitions of cloud, which company prefers what definition and the rush of vendors into the space.  In 2010, a ServerWatch article titled, Did Cloud Computing Jump the Shark? discusses how various analyst firms view and predict cloud’s future along with the differing opinions about it’s hype and hope.  Another 2010 article from ebizQ titled Has Cloud Computing Jumped the Shark? references another Infoworld article named Confessions of a cloud skeptic which, in the first sentence says, "the cloud" has jumped the shark. There are many more articles from 2010 wondering if Cloud has become chum.  I think this was due to the hype, battling opinions on just what cloud is/was and eventually can be, along with the types – SaaS, PaaS and IaaS and the categories of public, private, hybrid.  Now some 3 years later, has it officially jumped, crashed or landed safely on the other side?  Depends on who you ask.

Throughout 2012, there were plenty of articles titled ‘Cloud Computing is Here to Stay’ filled with survey results, anecdotal evidence and analyst cites.  At RSA this year, however, I heard a few folks say that the term ‘Cloud’ was forbidden to be uttered in the Expo Hall.  While the term itself has been overused, abused, misconstrued, and has probably Jumped the Shark, the underlying technology/philosophy will be a part of an organization’s hybrid and distributed infrastructure for years to come.  Mobility is one of the main cloud drivers.

Which brings me to my other check.

Has BYOD Jumped the Shark? Maybe.  Or it might be heading up the ramp.  Almost every pundit thinks BYOD, using one’s personal device for work, will be the trend of the year for 2013 but some are questioning that.  A few weeks ago I wrote Is BYO Already D? talking about the few surveys indicating that BYOD could cost more than imagined including The Aberdeen Group who says BYOD could cost organizations 33% more than a IT owned mobile device plan.  The Nov 2012 CITEWorld article titled Has BYOD jumped the shark? One researcher thinks so also talks about the Aberdeen research but adds a research note from Nucleus which predicts that BYOD will decline as enterprise mobility heats up. They explain that support costs, compliance risks and usage reimbursement will lead to higher TCO with no discernable ROI or productivity gains.

While I don’t think that BYOD has officially moved to the absurd, for 2013 I do think organizations will better understand the BYOD implications  and how it fits in the overall Enterprise Mobility strategy.  Enterprise Mobility includes BYOD, managed devices and other communication tools, including laptops potentially.  Just like cloud, I think organization’s will have a mix of options to support a mash of devices – including those you use at or bring from home.  There will still be IT issued fully managed devices (that require a VPN tunnel) for years to come mixed in with unmanaged personal devices where just the corporate data and apps are under IT control.  This is the BYOD 2.0 stuff we’ve been talking about with the F5 Mobile App Manager.  So while the term BYOD might be starting to hit saturation, Enterprise Mobility should be the focus.  Access to any app, from any device, from anywhere.

So, has this blog Jumped the Shark?  While some of the topics, err, terms I cover might be candidates, only you can determine if/when I’ve crossed into that absurdity realm.  I do hope you’ll let me know when I start resembling a cool dude wearing a leather jacket while water skiing.



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More Stories By Peter Silva

Peter Silva covers security for F5’s Technical Marketing Team. After working in Professional Theatre for 10 years, Peter decided to change careers. Starting out with a small VAR selling Netopia routers and the Instant Internet box, he soon became one of the first six Internet Specialists for AT&T managing customers on the original ATT WorldNet network.

Now having his Telco background he moved to Verio to focus on access, IP security along with web hosting. After losing a deal to Exodus Communications (now Savvis) for technical reasons, the customer still wanted Peter as their local SE contact so Exodus made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. As only the third person hired in the Midwest, he helped Exodus grow from an executive suite to two enormous datacenters in the Chicago land area working with such customers as Ticketmaster, Rolling Stone, uBid, Orbitz, Best Buy and others.

Bringing the slightly theatrical and fairly technical together, he covers training, writing, speaking, along with overall product evangelism for F5’s security line. He's also produced over 200 F5 videos and recorded over 50 audio whitepapers. Prior to joining F5, he was the Business Development Manager with Pacific Wireless Communications. He’s also been in such plays as The Glass Menagerie, All’s Well That Ends Well, Cinderella and others. He earned his B.S. from Marquette University, and is a certified instructor in the Wisconsin System of Vocational, Technical & Adult Education.

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