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,…

Bernard Golden as stating “IT is in the business of infrastructure management” I couldn’t disagree more strongly. As a service provider to corporations, IT should be in the business of helping employees accomplish their “jobs to be done”. Managing infrastructure may be a necessary activity towards that end, but it is not “the business which…

It has long been standard practice for IT organizations to enact ‘production freezes’ during important business periods. Whether it’s tax season, HR open enrollment, the days leading up to the election, or any other business-specific “critical time,” this practice makes intuitive sense. If the system is stable, you don’t want to risk business operations by…

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…

Enterprise IT is facing a difficult conundrum. On the one hand, it’s being asked to improve its agility, alignment with the business, and ability to innovate. At the same time, though, it’s expected to adhere to existing constraints such as completeness, efficiency, and security. Enterprise Architecture struggles to address this conundrum with seemingly mutually exclusive…