Over the long term, Ballal's goals are to get IT out of the business of purchasing and supporting laptops and other devices. "With our mobile phones and, now, wth iPad we've seen that people like to take ownership of their hardware and IT support. Forget about time and cost savings, the focus is on 'how do we get our employees more productive?' How do I relinquish power and control and give users what they want?"
Bring your own gadget is going to be the future, according to Ballal. "I'll give you a mechanism through which you can register your devices so that it's secure for my environment, and you'll be able to access what you need from anywhere in the world," he says. He adds that, when employees are productive, IT can be measured on revenue-per-employee or profit-per-employee.
Right now, desktop virtualization and a private cloud are helping to enable his vision. "The future as I see it, five years from now, is that we want to get out of the data center business and have a zero footprint on campus," says Ballal. "We're trying to get a private cloud that can be pushed to public cloud at some point in the future, and also be started on a managed service basis and migrated when the time is right."
In addition to offering a nice perk to KLA-Tencor employees, the companywide iPad deployment was also a proving ground for Ballal's vision of the future of enterprise IT. "It's all about speed," says Ballal. "I haven't heard of an IT project that takes two-and-a-half weeks from inception to rollout. It was to demonstrate that this is possible: IT can automate and get out of the way."
Want more on this topic? Read the feature article Mobility's Rise in the Enterprise.