The end-user is king
For a long time there has been this misunderstanding that consuming resources within the enterprise has to be cumbersome, expensive and slow. Whether this misunderstanding started from vendors, VAR’s or even the consumer, it has created a dynamic that breeds inefficiency and apathy. So what is there to do?
I’ve written about this before but it’s worth the time to go back and really think about where the market came from, where it is now and more importantly where things are going. In order to understand where you are going you have to know where you came from. Take for instance VMworld back in the mid 2000’s. How many sessions were focused around developers, application mobility and hybrid cloud management? The answer is zero. This is not due to the lack of support from VMware at this time but because the market had not taken a drastic shift to that consumption model. Notice I said VMware but I didn’t mention Amazon, Google and Azure. Why? These companies were built with the consumer (end-user) as the forefront of their consumption models. Web scale architectures and elastic compute is all well and good but if your end-users, whether that be internal IT or another company, need to be able to consume these resources from a simply click of a button you should be able to offer this service or be prepared for shadow IT and upset end-users. If you can’t order up resources through an app like you can Uber, Dominos and Amazon then you are dead in the water.
Going back to my opening statements regarding the misunderstanding of consuming resources within enterprise IT, you can see that the enterprise is slowly adopting and consuming the building blocks from the tech titans like Google and Amazon. Now, to the extent that an enterprise customer like a JP Morgan or Pepsi consumes these resources is yet to be seen but the idea that you can have silos of people within the four walls and simply throw requests, code, change control metrics, etc and expect it to magically cure itself like Jarvis from Iron Man is far from reality.
Developers are a close second to end-users
How many times have we heard “there’s an app for that”? If you work in IT and particularly in sales, you hear this a lot and are constantly having discussions with developers and CIO’s about application development, resiliency and security. Wait, if you aren’t then I’d suggest re-evaluating your place in the IT iterative process and where you might fit in. While I certainly have these conversations with my customers, I do get quite a few blank stares and glass eyes and I know they are thinking “I’m not a Netflix or Google, why do I need an app?” Dominos thought the same thing a few years ago and look at them today. Their app is sleek, intuitive with voice commands and now tweet to order. Seriously, tweet to order? Awesome!
What does this have to do with consuming resources in the modern age of an app for everything? If a company that sells pizza can revolutionize the way we consume pizza, no one is immune to the law that speed and scale win. If I had to guess, I’d say that Papa Johns and the other pizza chains are racing to catch up to Dominos on the software development front and how to integrate these functions into their ordering process.
Not everything within the confines of IT has to be difficult and cumbersome. Clearly a pizza chain that made its bread and butter delivering pizzas from as far back as the 1990’s has made the change from static and clunky to simple and elegant. I would implore anyone reading this article to think about how you consume resources today, where those resources come from and how you can streamline this process to deliver a better result to your end-users.