Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Ravi Rajamiyer

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo

Containers Expo Blog: Blog Feed Post

Virtualization, Cloud, Automation. But Where Are We Going?

It is a pretty rare enterprise that can do without IT these days

I read an interesting blog the other day that is pretty spot-on about IT, customers, and what we’ve spent the last 30 years doing. We’re in a field whose purpose is to increase the capability of the enterprise while simultaneously making it easier to do whatever the organization in general and IT specifically does.


IT’S WHAT WE DO

It is a pretty rare enterprise that can do without IT these days, for systems are what the military refers to as “force multipliers” – they make the people available more effective. We blame a lot on computers, and wring our hands when they’re down or of limited usefulness, but that is simply because they are a core part of the enterprise. The size of some of our companies – insurance and finance spring to mind – would be nearly unmanageable without computer systems, and would certainly be less cost-effective. Other organizations – web based businesses are the poster child for this category – just plain wouldn’t exist without them.

Let’s follow his blog to the logical conclusion though… He’s advocating improving ourselves out of a job. After many years in the industry, I see that as a distant possibility. Sure, cloud, virtualization, and automation hold the potential to reduce staff time and overhead, but I don’t believe it will. Over the decades, each new development is translated into more power for the enterprise, and while our jobs shift in their focus, each new development brings with it a whole new array of IT challenges that must be met.


BUT WHAT IF?

So most IT staff isn’t developing systems anymore… They’re integrating them. Most IT staff is not checking Token Ring connections to see who broke the segment, they’re monitoring bandwidth and usage instead. Most IT staff doesn’t have to go into a flurry when a piece of hardware fails, they just replace it, but they do monitor for intrusions. Things have historically changed, but workloads have steadily increased. We used to troubleshoot each app, now we troubleshoot the browser and web server for each app.

We could be at that point in time where “everything changes”, but I don’t think so. And the reason that I don’t think so is simple. Even now, in the midst of virtualization, we’re getting more busy, not less. Virtualization makes IT more agile, but things like VM Sprawl show that our customers – the business – still have a seemingly insatiable desire for computing resources. As long as the number of “systems” and interfaces and network connections is going up, the end of IT is nowhere in sight. And even if IT were 100% “Cloudsourced”, there’s still plenty that needs to be done – physical desktops/laptops, intrusion monitoring, vertical application knowledge/troubleshooting, fifty forms of integration… The list goes on.

So I’m with Mr. Raayman, automate the living heck out of IT. Make everything you can easier for you. But I’m in favor of this for a completely different reason than he is. I think you’ll need it as your workload continues to increase, and other things (like cloud provisioning and “find the app in the sea of virtuals”) begin to take more and more of your time.

Indeed, it’s a good plan to look around every once in a while and see what you are/aren’t doing that could make your life easier or improve your ability to serve your customers. We get stuck in the process of dealing with today and thinking about the next big project sometimes, it’s good to take a few hours or a day and forcibly separate yourself from the now to look at what you’re doing and why. When I was an Architect at AAL (now Thrivent Financial), we did that pretty regularly. The architects would go to a restaurant for a block of four hours and just talk about what we were doing, where it wasn’t efficient, what improvements could be made, and agreeing on the top three. Then we’d go back to work, recharged, with a list of topics to research and people to talk to. That four hours once a quarter or so was pretty central to the difference between us becoming glorified project managers and keeping value in our roles as architects.

“Do more with less” we keep hearing. And it’s still solid advice. If virtualization, automation, and cloud let us do that, there will be no shortage whatsoever of things to do - like satisfy all those iPhone users who think  that their purchase is IT’s problem – so automate what you can so you can focus more on what the business needs and less on the “overhead” of last year’s business needs.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Don MacVittie

Don MacVittie is founder of Ingrained Technology, A technical advocacy and software development consultancy. He has experience in application development, architecture, infrastructure, technical writing,DevOps, and IT management. MacVittie holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Northern Michigan University, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and sh...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...
What are the new priorities for the connected business? First: businesses need to think differently about the types of connections they will need to make – these span well beyond the traditional app to app into more modern forms of integration including SaaS integrations, mobile integrations, APIs, device integration and Big Data integration. It’s important these are unified together vs. doing them all piecemeal. Second, these types of connections need to be simple to design, adapt and configure...
Cell networks have the advantage of long-range communications, reaching an estimated 90% of the world. But cell networks such as 2G, 3G and LTE consume lots of power and were designed for connecting people. They are not optimized for low- or battery-powered devices or for IoT applications with infrequently transmitted data. Cell IoT modules that support narrow-band IoT and 4G cell networks will enable cell connectivity, device management, and app enablement for low-power wide-area network IoT. B...
Contextual Analytics of various threat data provides a deeper understanding of a given threat and enables identification of unknown threat vectors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Dufour, Head of Security Architecture, IoT, Webroot, Inc., discussed how through the use of Big Data analytics and deep data correlation across different threat types, it is possible to gain a better understanding of where, how and to what level of danger a malicious actor poses to an organization, and to determ...
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...