Over the last decade, power in enterprise IT has shifted away from infrastructure specialists such as storage administrators and network administrators to virtualization administrators and even application owners. The current wave of enterprise cloud adoption is again shifting power within organizations, this time to application developers. This has several implications for businesses that are in the midst of this transition.
Cloud Adoption and the Path of Least Resistance
Financial folks have little to no influence over the technical folks who manage the cloud environment. Especially in the early phases of cloud adoption, technical folks will do what is fastest and easiest for them. For example, we recently encountered a technology offering that promised substantial cost savings on cloud storage. Implementing the solution would have required what initially appeared to be minor changes. However, when we discussed the solution with a cloud solution provider, they told us the extra steps made the solution a non-starter.
There are certainly opportunities to achieve quick wins in the cloud. However, the takeaway from our recent exploration is that the potential benefits of a given technology will be realized only if that technology integrates into the existing development workflow in a way that is completely transparent to the developer. This represents a substantial shift of power to the developer.
Vendors are Contending for Cloud Control
Kubernetes container orchestration technology is key to cloud application deployment and management. Not surprisingly, multiple vendors are contending to provide that management layer. Red Hat offers OpenShift. Google recently announced Anthos as its hybrid-cloud application management platform. This week VMware’s followed up multiple acquisitions in the Kubernetes space by announcing the Tanzu portfolio of products and services. All of these products are about transforming the way enterprises build software and manage applications by meeting the developers of next-generation applications where they are.
Cloud Adoption Calls for Deeper Understanding of Developer’s Workflows
Cloud adoption calls for a deeper understanding of developer workflows. Solution providers must understand these workflows well enough that their solution yields its benefits while remaining essentially invisible to developers. Central IT staff must seek to understand the developer’s workflow and then select solutions with a much greater sensitivity to developer workflows than in the past. Although there are many ways to advance that understanding, a good starting point might just be to take a developer out to lunch.