Francois Zimmermann

Crikey!  The Doomsday Clock is at 2 and a half minutes to midnight!

Blog Post created by Francois Zimmermann Employee on Jan 27, 2017


Yesterday I saw that the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists have updated their assessment of global threats here.


My initial thoughts:

  • Why am I not at the shops right now panic buying essentials?
  • Why am I bothering to put money into a pension when I should be spanking it all away on holidays?
  • Then I dashed off a mail to Valentin Hamburger about a tricky cloud platform problem that we've been working on: 'I wouldn't worry about that design too much!  Next quarter?  What next quarter?'.  What a great way to build team morale!


In a roundabout way this thinking is relevant for how CIOs need to think about IT disruption.  There is a tension between investing in the sort of platform that can deliver the current generation of applications and the recognition that the next paradigm shift can kill off large parts of today's application landscape.  And occasionally you end up in a counterproductive spiral where you only 'panic buy' for the short term neads of Mode 1 Systems of Record because you are so focused on getting ready for cloud ready Mode 2 Systems of Innovation.  This means that you don't focus enough on driving cost and complexity out of Mode 1 (which still accounts for the majority of IT spend) in order to release investment and headcount to focus more on systems of innovation.


The Digital Enterprises that we work with have a complex mix of traditional scale-up workloads and modern, cloud-ready scale-out workloads.  Their application life-cycles are typically 5-7 years and so there is a very long tail of core systems that will continue to provide backend services to new digital channels "after the paradigm shift" and this leads to two big trends in terms of buying behaviour for hybrid cloud:

  1. They look to integrate the management of Mode One and Mode Two environments.  A modern cloud strategy will enable the delivery organization to rapidly transition to new DevOps paradigms (Mode 2) and also enable autonomic management and efficient delivery for existing core workloads.  There is no cliff edge between the legacy and new world.
  2. Large scale full fat outsource arrangements are getting less and less common - if the next paradigm shift is just around the corner then you don't want to get locked into a multi-year organization change and stuck in last years inflexible operating model.  Instead, enterprises are looking to offload risk for delivery of much more specific outcomes - so a vendor or SI may own infrastructure assets, provide on-premise burst and take charge for delivery of platform services against strong SLAs but they won't outsource the IT organization.  These more flexible contracts are the future of on-premise cloud.


Now I have get off and finish stuffing my supermarket trolley with Heinz beans(*) and bottled water.

(* Other brands of beans are available, but it is the end of the world so I figure I will spoil myself a bit)