Kevin Jones recently made the provocative proposal that some companies should consider dissolving IT altogether and disseminating its functions into their business units. Mark Thiele countered with the observation that, without addressing IT’s underlying ills, decentralization might just spread the disease. So what are we to do? Should we throw out the baby with the…

IT is in crisis. We’ve become the Department of No, of Slow, of Expensive, of Inadequate, of Misaligned. We’re told we need to drive innovation, to become more service-oriented, to cut costs and improve quality and increase agility all at once. I believe that this crisis goes beyond just how we do things. It touches…

Twitter is an incredibly sloppy medium. If you follow more than a small number of people, there’s no way you can keep up with everyone’s tweets. You wake up in the morning and you’re 500 tweets behind. If you take the time to try to read them all, you’re 100 behind again by the time…

Yesterday I had a twitter exchange with John Allspaw about the subtlety, and consequently the difficulty of adoption, of the complex-systems view of failure. That afternoon I read James Urquhart’s excellent post about DevOps and Anti-Fragility. By the end of the day, I was more convinced than ever that IT managers and engineers should study…

Numerous blogs have described how Barack Obama’s IT team dramatically outperformed Romney’s team during the 2012 Presidential election. Obama’s team delivered greater quality, better functionality, and superior results for the campaign at significantly lower cost. They did it using cutting-edge tools and techniques such as public cloud computing, DevOps, gameday testing, and open source. The…

Yesterday Instagram introduced new Terms of Service that quickly set the Twitterverse on fire. People felt that the company was adopting a manipulative, disrespectful attitude towards the vendor-customer relationship. Some questioned whether the announcement was Instagram’s “suicide note.” National Geographic threatened to close their account. What happened? Instagram forgot that they’re in the service business,…

Yesterday I vented on Twitter about developers changing software configurations willy-nilly. JP Morgenthal took it as proof that developers shouldn’t be allowed to manage production environments. Adrian Cockcroft saw it the other way ‘round. I’ll leave that particular controversy for another post. What concerned me yesterday was the notion that so-called “lower” environments should be…

I’m frankly puzzled to hear the term “IT-as-a-Service” bandied about as something new. IT always has been service. Whether it was: please run my punchcards, or please run the inventory reports overnight, or please procure/provision/deliver/fix a PC, or please spin up a new server or a new message bus endpoint… …IT has always been in…

There is much gnashing of teeth these days about so-called Rogue IT. I’ve seen numerous blog posts taking IT departments to task for responding defensively to it. The advice in these posts runs along the lines that we should learn from Rogue IT rather than directly opposing it. The recommended approach is to figure out…