Buzzword bingo is the favourite pastime of the enterprise software industry – but those of us that spend a significant amount of our time in press conferences or, listening to vendors preach the benefits of their latest technology release, we know that the hype is very different from the reality.
This week Kurt broke down the findings of a new Computer Economics report, which highlights just how little DevOps is being formalised in the enterprise – in fact, the results indicates that the practice is barely being used at all in traditional corporate IT organisations.
The report summarizes the findings across 132 IT organizations in North America with at least $50 million in revenue. It finds that although about a third of organizations dabble in DevOps, almost none do so formally and consistently across the organization or show any semblance of mastering of DevOps practices. While smaller, less bureaucratic and hence more nimble organizations are somewhat more likely to tackle DevOps, the report finds adoption rates low across the board.
This is surprising, given that when I’ve spoken to organisations that are using DevOps properly (typically in the retail, banking or gaming sectors), then the results are staggering. However, Kurt hits the nail on the head about ‘why’ this is the case.
Anemic levels of DevOps adoption by traditional, established enterprises is partly, sometimes entirely, due to ignorance and indifference, but the causes go deeper.
DevOps is like dieting: it requires changes in values, attitudes, processes and habits. Such changes are hard and must be practiced, not bought. They require education and discipline, not a purchase order. DevOps wannabes that think that it’s only just a matter of installing some open source automation tools and container software are like dieters hoping that buying a gym membership and diet shakes in January means they’ll lose weight by July. It doesn’t work that way.
Significant organizational improvements result from things you do, and DevOps requires cultural and organizational change.
Cultural and organizational change…the easy stuff then (ahem)…
On the topic of buzzwords – who remembers outsourcing? Well, according to our Martin Banks, the public cloud vendors are effectively pushing to be the outsourcers of the cloud generation. That’s because the leading public cloud providers – AWS, Azure and Google – are beginning to realise that they need to figure out how to refactor and re-engineer existing enterprise technology environments, if they want to go beyond the low hanging fruit. I particularly like this quote from Nutanix SVP of engineering and product management, Sunil Potti, who said:
Imagine the public cloud is a new neighbourhood, but we live in the old city – the enterprise. There are two options: I can move my family and go to the new neighbourhood or stay where I am. My roots and friends are still there, and I can go and visit the new neighbourhood. But what if the developers of the new neighbourhood then set out to gentrify the old one?
And Martin explains where he sees the likes of AWS headed next. He said:
But even AWS is beginning to realise that, while it has a long tail of new business in its current operations it is really only going after some 10% of the enterprise market – but they are failing to get near the remaining 80% of the available business.
One reason is that the 80% will require some heavy re-factoring and re-platforming. And the way this is likely to happen is already underway, this is the re-appearance of an age-old business model brought bang up to date – outsourcing
Elsewhere, I thought the latest report on
buzzword bingo AI and automation was particularly interesting, as its focus was on the impact on the worker, rather than the benefits that could be gained by business. I wrote:
As noted above, this report is interesting because it pushes the voices of workers to the front of the debate on the impact of AI. Too often we get drawn into the excitement around the potential of automation, the opportunities that could be gained, without thinking about the people that could be left behind as a result. Let’s hope that this new commission can apply real pressure to the government to come up with an effective strategy and some new practical policies around addressing the forthcoming changes – working with citizens, employees and trade unions, rather than against them.
Vendor analysis, diginomica style
Despite Ellison’s repeated claims of functional and secure superiority over Amazon, the market isn’t exactly buying the story. Perhaps many have waited to see what ATP delivers?
The grab bag
This use case from Cath Everett on how data is being used to fight the malaria endemic in countries such as Zambia is a great and interesting read for those using analytical tools in the healthcare industry.
Put another way, an 80% drop in malaria cases has been witnessed in the south over the last three years, accompanied by a 90% fall in mortality rates. This breakthrough has been achieved in a combination of ways.
On the one hand, the number of community health clinics in the region has been expanded threefold to more than 600 in order to make them more accessible, while the 1,500 health workers assigned to them have also been trained to test and treat the condition locally. On the other hand, there has been much more effective use of the data that health workers are tasked with collecting and entering into a dedicated district health information management system
If you want a bit if an inside look at how enterprise analysts these days are
not doing their job of holding vendors to account, take a read of Den’s take on the ‘Nodding Dogs’.
I recall several occasions during which none of the major firms asked a single question at what felt more like a press event than an exposition of forward strategy. There are many reasons why this is the case, not least is the issue of business models.
I know for example that one of the firms has a policy of not soliciting questions from vendors because those might lead to answers of a consulting nature which, in turn, is a separate line of business requiring a separate deal.
But I equally know that much of the really great talent the major analyst firms once had has gone, often replaced by product marketers from the vendor community. Today, I almost never come across analysts who have done primary research, who have implemented software or understand a single line of code. How can those same people claim credibility?
No Best of Rest or Whiffs this week – normal service will be resumed when Jon returns from his well-earned vacation.
Image credit – Cheerful Chubby Man © RA Studio, Happy Children © Anna Omelchenko, Waiter Suggesting Bottle © Minerva Studiom, Overworked Businessman © Bloomua, at the seaside © olly – all from Fotolia.com.
Disclosure – Oracle and Workday are diginomica premier partners at time of writing.
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