There is nothing wrong with the idea of agile computing. In fact, I would argue that it reflects a set of values and goals that have defined my role in IT over the years.
Who doesn’t want an IT service that responds quickly to business needs, one that can turn on a dime as the business identifies new opportunities or realizes it has made a misstep?
We always wanted to do that.
Who doesn’t want to provide secure access to applications and data to staff and customers who require it and who are increasingly mobile? All of us.
Who doesn’t want to deliver the most bang for the buck, to constantly improve service levels while containing or reducing budgetary demands? Anyone who wants a business to succeed.
So, why are we suddenly raising agility like it is some sort of new idea? Simply, it is a code phrase, an effort to productize a value, to create a bucket for vendors who want to sell a bunch of hardware or software technology.
Like the six sigma stuff, or ITIL, et al, I really couldn’t care less about the latest memes in IT business lingo.
I understand them, of course. But they strike me like the various phraseology that comes into vogue — then just as quickly disappears. Ultimately, they come to mark a particular time or place. Remember Valley Girl speak? How about the phrase, “Wazzuuuup?” Or “I know, right?” Agile is like that. Someday, references to “agile” in the media will provide a nostalgic fix on a time in the early Aughties when the term gained popularity.
There are, of course, some new technologies out there that the agile folks can rightfully claim do or will assist in the realization of the new efficiency. There always are.
If there is actual evolution in technology, it is the incremental improvement of technology itself and processes for using technology more effectively to deliver improved outcomes measured in terms of greater efficiency and productivity and economy. Anything that runs in reverse of that is de-evolutionary.
So, in upcoming talks, I am focusing a lot on peeling back the agile onion and helping folks to understand what is really required to evolve IT to the land of unicorns and rainbows. Hint: it isn’t simply software-defined processors, networks and/or storage.
The mission is already underway. Last week, I had some great discussions in Paris, courtesy of TechTarget and LeMagIT, and some private meetings with a large international energy conglomerate on just this subject. Next week, I will be in London, then two weeks later in New York with Storage Decisions. I hope the commentary, which runs afoul of a lot of marketecture, finds a willing ear.
At a minimum, I want to start a conversation.