Will Cloud Change the Politics of IT?


Share on LinkedIn

It must be the midterm elections, because politics are in the air—and on my mind.

The politics of IT, that is.

This isn’t the first time I’ve compared the dynamic between development and operations to the partisan disputes we see in the headlines and the chattering class of cable news drama. Of course, the political divisions between dev and ops are far more understated than the main stage of national politics. But both lead to gridlock.

We’ve accepted this gridlock as the necessary messiness of the IT process—like democracy in action (inaction?). But with the rise of public cloud services like Amazon EC2, we’ve become decidedly less sanguine about this dysfunction.

Why? Because public cloud services satisfy the need for speed. It’s like deploying an application by order of executive decree: A swipe of a credit card is the stroke of the pen, and the deployed application is the law, ratified and enacted.

The public cloud has provided the model for the future of IT: Self-service, on-demand and elastic. Not long ago, this statement would have been dismissed as a silly overstatement (I’ve made it and it has been, both more than once). But in a short time, it’s become something of a universal truth: Today, there’s wide acknowledgement that cloud is the model for the future of IT service delivery.

But what we’ve also realized is that public cloud is the model and the example, but not necessarily the future incarnate.

Why? I’m sure we can all agree that shortcutting legislative due process would yield the wrong outcome: Speed at the expense of control.

You can apply the same logic.

And that’s why the enterprise cloud journey begins with private and hybrid clouds.

Cloud is real. Cloud is inevitable. Not “if,” when? Not “why,” how?

So, the discussion turns to the journey to delivering IT as an on-demand service.

That journey begins with an inventory of high-level goals. For example:

• Speed—Deploy infrastructure, applications and services in minutes.
• Control—Standardize and govern supply, demand, construction and change.

Which dictate several high-level requirements. Such as:

• Self-service—for on-demand consumption of IT services.
• Policy-based controls—for governing the terms and conditions of consumption.
• Standardized offerings—for centralized control of the IT supply chain and lifecycle.
• Automated deployment and maintenance—to remove time, cost and variability.
• Target independence—to dynamically move services between internal and external deployment environments based on price, performance or policy.
• Elasticity—to provision, de-provision, scale and de-scale resources on demand.

Which enables some very powerful outcomes for IT and business. Notably:

• Agility—on-demand access to infrastructure, applications and business services.
• Reduced cap ex and op ex—through shared resources, elasticity and automation.
• Market leverage—by making IT services transportable across internal and external deployment environments based on price, performance and availability.

On the main stage of national politics, speed and control may be mutually exclusive options. But that is no longer the case for enterprise IT. Here, speed and control will be conjoined to form the future of IT delivery—bringing an end to the politics of IT.

If only we had such hopes for the other form of politics!

Republished with author's permission from original post.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here