Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Bling and ignorance - how cloudy thinking will screw up IT
Today it was annouced that Progress Software are going to 'divest' their BPM and SOA technologies and instead are going to focus on cloud technologies that don't really exist yet. This is indicative of a mentality I see around so first lets start with some credentials: 1) I worked with Google around a SaaS partnership in 2007 around Google Apps 2) I delivered an SFDC solution in 2008 3) I've worked with Amazon, VMWare and lots of other cloud based companies So lets be clear I think cloud and SaaS can be extremely useful things, the problem comes when people begin to think they are magic. Lets be clear SaaS is a software package pre-installed and configured that you can pay for on demand - the change isn't the software its the capacity and the charging model Cloud is an infrastructure play to provide old school tin in a virtualised manner in a way that can be quickly provisioned and paid for on demand. That really is it. The problem I see is that people take the new bling and forget the old lessons. So people say 'I'm am using SFDC and it is my customer MDM I don't need anything else'... in the same way that people said that about Siebel in 2000 and found out in 2002 that it wasn't true. They say 'its on the cloud so I don't need to worry about architecting for performance, I'll just scale the hardware' as people did around 'pizza box' architectures in 2000. I hear 'we don't need to worry about integration, its on the cloud'... like people did around SOA/ESB/WS-* in ... 2000. The problem is that the reality is the opposite. The more federation you have the more process and control you need. The more information is federated the more requirements you have for Master Data Management. Cloud solutions are not silver bullets and they are not always simple solutions to integrate with other systems, great on their own but not good with others. Rapidly people are building federated IT estates with federated data and no practice and process around integration which leads to a massive EXTERNAL spaghetti mess, something that makes the EAI problems of the 90s look like a walk in the park. Or to put in another way... isn't it great how people are making more work for those of us in IT.