The Speed of Change in IT Infrastructure (Opinion)

Over the past 6 months I have been dwelling more and more on the obvious speed of change and development in IT Infrastructure. What do I mean? Well each year there is the new hotness, the next thing/innovation you are told you need or should have.

In most cases the innovations and new tech are ground breaking awesomeness and most certainly offer new opportunities for the infrastructure masses.

I am all for progress, if you are not moving forward and regularly looking for sensible ways to improve what you do and the infrastructure you use then I really do think you are in the wrong industry.

However what I am beginning to take exception to is the insistence each time that if you are not doing/adopting the next new thing in a short space of time you informed you will be irrelevant before you know it. (insert suitable words that exclaim you are not one of the cool kids)

The speed of change and development at the bleeding edge of IT far exceeds that of most modern business IT departments. Everywhere I have been each IT department has its own unique challenges, requirements and constraints set by the business or organisations they serve.

That mainframe isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Some places are still do P2V projects (but in some cases it is not viable for solid reasons) In other cases VDI has been embraced but only to a certain point. Virtualisation is in place for the vast majority of businesses but the majority of those businesses have little or no automation for it. Hyper-converged systems are still a new thing to many businesses, then we have awesome tech like NSX, Containers, Serverless etc etc..

My point here is that (and this is my opinion from my travels) there is so much noise about the new things (each year) and how “everyone” will be adopting it shortly that it’s sometimes hard to see or hear what the majority of businesses are -actually- doing and what pace they are operating at and more importantly why.

The way I picture it in my head is that of a strong elastic band with a heavy weight (legacy tech, main frames, old servers) on the weight end. The speed of innovation and development in IT pulls the band up but the weight does not move, over a longer period the elastic band becomes quite long indeed and only after a fairly lengthy period of time does the weight being to lift.

Yes there are many very agile businesses out there who have done a Stirling job in keeping up (because they needed to) but for a good majority this is not the case.

It could be because of process problems or old ways of thinking, don’t forget to throw in the fact that in many cases said businesses simply don’t see a bottom line need or requirement for that new thing.

I shall finish my post here, if you have any thoughts or comments on this I would be very interested to hear your views.