Few would disagree that software and systems are now overly complex and costly to operate. However, the state of IT play is a testament to the success of previous generations of technologists. In a way, IT has become a victim of its own success! On-demand computing (ODC) offers a compelling model for taking the existing state of IT and upgrading it into a more solid platform for the future. 
Flexible, scalable, open standards, and self-managing are some of the key attributes that mark ODC as an interesting approach to computing. If the ODC project is successful, it should deliver that holy grail of computing: simple systems.
Broadcast Becomes Narrowcast
On-demand computing provides a means for a new type of business transformation in which IT will be led by business policies. This is not a new concept, but it would considerably change both the business and IT landscapes.
It's important for us to investigate what this might mean for IT work in these volatile times. I believe that one of the biggest changes we'll see in the next five years relates to network service access from small, resource-constrained devices such as mobile phones and PDAs. Both content providers and service providers will roll out dozens of new and innovative services as the world moves ever closer to a narrowcast model. Narrowcasting will take us beyond the traditional one-size-fits-all approach of broadcasting and toward a more customized, subscription-based model. The signs indicate that this is already happening; for example, as more and more video-based web sites spring up for a growing range of sports. Narrowcast web sites can operate for a fraction of what's required for broadcast TV.
ODC provides a means for this move to a narrowcast model precisely because it builds a solid foundation. But IBM is pitching ODC at pretty much all industries, not just broadcast or telecom. Let's take a look at it then!