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As VP of Technology Evangelism at WSO2, Chris Haddad raises awareness of Platform as a Service, Cloud Architecture, Service Oriented Architecture, API Management, and Enterprise Integration. Prior to joining WSO2, Haddad’s experience includes building software development teams, contributing to open source, crafting technology roadmaps, leading Gartner research teams, and delivering Software as a Service and Web applications. Chris is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 111 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Will IT Culture Kill Cloud?

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The doctors are circling.   My Gartner colleague Lydia Leong has an interesting Cloud prescription, ‘to become like a cloud provider, fire everyone here,’  and industry watchers are picking up the message.

In her post, Lydia describes a Cloud conversation with corporate IT stakeholders and diagnosing:

“If you’re going to operate like a cloud provider, you will need to be willing to fire almost everyone in this room.”


Of course, organizational inertia will often prevent mass re-organization, and I wonder if IT executives will astutely realize their cloud transformations are dying because of IT culture and organizational misalignment, rather than Cloud immaturity.

 from GigaOm has picked up on Lydia’s post and played out the scenario. Derrick asks  ”Will cultural pushback kill private clouds?  Derrick identifies a end game whereby private cloud won’t live up to the hype:

“because it means private cloud computing looks more like a wasted opportunity than an IT revolution. It looks a lot more like Virtualization 2.o than Amazon Web Services. Provisioning resources might be a smoother process, and maybe application development is easier, but IT departments themselves are still inflexible and inefficient.”

I have personally seen many organizations squander opportunity and revolution while pursuing Service Oriented Architecture roadmaps.  I started following Cloud in 2008 based on a personal desire to apply cultural change practices learned in the SOA days.   Cloud has excellent promise at meeting business stakeholder demand by offloading commoditized IT activities and releasing capital and human resources.  Unfortunately, some organizations may continue to hug their servers, continue old-school practices, and not re-think DevOps.

Lydia’s post describes how a viable adoption approach may include starting

“a fresh new environment with a new philosophy, perhaps a devops philosophy, with all the joy of having a greenfield deployment, and simply begin deploying new applications into it. Leave legacy IT with the mess, rather than letting the morass kill every new initiative that’s tried.”

I had an interesting conversation today with a Fortune 20 bank about private Cloud, and the organization is all-in.   The bank’s corporate IT stakeholders are smart, motivated, and open minded.  But as they evolve their environment, they are still thinking about infrastructure components (e.g. nodes, images, machines, storage devices) and legacy application practices.  I quickly pitched the concept of ‘leaky PaaS’, ‘service subscription rather than provisioning’,'hiding topology details from developers’, and ‘allowing architects to focus on service levels rather than environment tuning’.  The concepts are a game changer defining Cloud architecture and Platform as a Service from a developer’s perspective.  WSO2 Stratos is an early demonstration of these leading concepts.

Published at DZone with permission of Chris Haddad, author and DZone MVB. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Wal Rus replied on Thu, 2012/05/31 - 5:44pm

Ugh. This suggestion is really stupid! Presumably, before cloud Lydia was invovled in something else, and, if one to follow the same logic, with the advent of cloud into the guts of gartner Lydia had to be fired first! (along with everyone else in that room). 

 I guess noone really giv.. cares about what Gartner has to say any more if they have to use such loud and controvertial statements to draw any bit of attention to themselves.

Karl Peterbauer replied on Thu, 2012/05/31 - 6:07pm

Additional quote from Lydia's comment, for clarification:

There were countless IT people on this phone consultation, and I’d received a dizzying introducing to names and titles and job functions, but not one person in the room was someone who did real work, i.e., someone who wrote code or managed systems or gathered requirements from the business, or even did higher-level architecture. 

It's really not difficult to predict that the Cloud buzz will fail miserably if the people in charge do not perform real technical work. Remember the SOA buzz?

Wojciech Kudla replied on Fri, 2012/06/01 - 6:25am

Gartner's predictions - as accurate and reasonable as always :)

Cristian Georgescu replied on Sun, 2012/08/05 - 2:20pm

"It looks a lot more like Virtualization 2.o than Amazon Web Services."
No, it's virtualization 1.0 with a web interface on top, an interface like cpanel for LAMP.

"I had an interesting conversation today with a Fortune 20 bank about private Cloud, and the organization is all-in."
You a) discussed with non-technical people (IT managers doesn't mean technical people), b) they're complete idiots or c) you had no discussion at all and this is only marketing.

Jaffa Wify replied on Wed, 2012/11/21 - 5:05am

 Windows 8 provides heavier integration with online services from Microsoft and others. A user can now log in to Windows with a Microsoft account, formally known as a Windows Live ID, which can be used to access services and synchronize applications and settings between devices. Thanks.

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Bananaa Naa replied on Tue, 2013/07/23 - 3:13am in response to: Wal Rus

 I just don't know how to react, It's making me confuse of this cloud something.

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White Roses replied on Mon, 2014/02/17 - 9:10am

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Dina Cociug replied on Wed, 2014/02/19 - 8:45am

 More and more companies invest in private Cloud technologies as this allows them to release capital and human resources. The corporate IT stakeholders  from Fortune 20 bank realized that this would allow them to save money by not investing anymore in infrastructure components, hopefully other banks like Salin  will consider doing this.

Jason Sparks replied on Sun, 2014/05/18 - 12:03am

Im taking the chances renewing my server. ( seen here 3 links:  ) Im pretty sure I could run it pretty smooth with new OS and latest updates.

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