Don't be afraid, cloudy storage folk, just admit you’re a bit bi-modal

We need to accept change, but how much?

Fujitsu's social robot teddy bears

Storagebod We’ve been talking about cloud in one form or another for many years now, and this current iteration of utility computing that has come to be known as 'cloud' might actually be something.

And yet, for all of the talk and all of the noise, traditional IT does seem to just rumble on, quietly working away in the background.

Some analysts will have you believe that we have entered an era of bimodal computing; traditional IT and the new agile movement. Traditional IT that cannot change fast enough to meet today’s business needs, and this new marvellous agile computing that is changing the world and business.

It seems that the way to move forward is to abandon the old and go headlong into the new. We’ll just stop doing that and start doing this; it’s all very easy.

However, we have problems: we don’t live in a bimodal world; we don’t live in a world of absolutes; and there is certainly no single solution that fits all.

This change involves people. Most people, even technologists, don’t really like change, even if we accept that change is necessary. Change brings opportunity but it is also dangerous and uncomfortable. I don’t think that the analysts often take account of the fact that organisations really run on people and not machines.

Actually, I’ll take back what I said; many people do enjoy change but they like it at a measured rate. This is important to embrace and understand because it’ll allow us to build a model that does work and to take things forward: a model that doesn’t require massive leaps of faith.

We absolutely need those daredevils who are going come up with ideas that have potential to change the world: the test-pilots, the explorers, the people with a vision for change. Few organisations can sustain themselves with just those people; not over any long period; they make mistakes, they crash, their luck runs out and they never finish anything!

What organisations really need are people who are capable of taking on the new ideas and making them the new normal but without sacrificing the current stability of the services currently provided. These people are not blockers, they are your implementers, your finishers. They are the core of your organisation.

Then you need people to run the new normal now that it has become boring. Every now and then, you need to give them a poke and hopefully one of them will throw their hands up in horror and decide that they fancy taking a leap off a cliff; they can run round to the start of the cycle and help bring in the next iteration of technology. I think there’s huge value in joining these folks up with those at the start of the process.

IT tends to be somewhat cyclical. You only have to listen to the greybeards talking about mainframes to realise this. The only question in my mind is how much faster we can get the cycles to go. It’s not bimodal, I know some think it is trimodal. It’s probably a lot more graduated than that.

Some people will live all their careers in one stage of the cycle or another. A few will live at the extremes, but many of us will move between phases as we feel enthused - or otherwise. ®

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