Now that would be a good short-term business case for Cloud - or would it.
Triggered by Dennis Howlett's question regarding Cloud and the role of EA
@dhinchcliffe - but if I can move chunks of this 'stuff' to the cloud then why do I need an EA? Sounds like a silly qu but is it?and Dion Hinchcliffe's answer
It's a good question @dahowlett, the cloud disrupts all sorts of EA activity. Nevertheless, architects are still relevant, more as curators., I tried to give a concise answer but failed - a tweet definitely is too short for that
@dahowlett Dennis I'm going to take your good Cloud-EA question and blog post on it as a tweet (apparently) doesn't suffice CC @dhinchcliffeAlthough I can be concise: moving chunks of your stuff to the Cloud is much like a divorce: separation will solve some issues and problems, but create new ones as well. That's 140 characters right there exactly
Cloud's not going to make IT as a whole less complex. However, it probably will push down the lowest layer firmly into the ground so it becomes even more static, and might simply more or less become Utility, like the disks, cables, racks and U's already are
I think Cloud will greatly drive standardisation like I've said before. Us being all out here on Twitter and Facebook and all, shows that the different forms of English that can be spoken seamlessly merge into that one, unspoken, undocumented, Global form of English that everyone understands. British idiom, Aussie slang or Bostonian are simply not used widely because there's no ROI for that. We all want to understand eachother, so we mingle, merge, and become One. That's what Cloud will do to IT...
So, Cloud will diminish the amounts to choose from, thus limiting the choices to be made.
But that's very different from limiting the decisions to be made. In order for that to happen, IT as a whole would have to become more simple. Will it? No. Heck no:
There are various types of Cloud, as there are various types of enterprise architects
- Infrastructure Architects will have to make less choices about which particular SAN or database cluster to make or buy, but they'll now have to make decisions about how to align their legacy SAN or DB cluster with the Cloud's one. That's pretty much going to be an operation in space: only one extremely expensive chance to get it right
- Information System Architects will have to decide about this entirely different architecture that's come to them, and integrate that into their legacy IT-landscape applications. Client-server was a fun one, where the fat-client graphically rich legacy had to be pushed back towards the server again whilst still performing, but this will certainly pose challenges: it's a given that the mountain's not going to come to Moses this time. 'Fixing' performance issues by hauling in iron might just not work anymore. It's back to size zero on the drawing board
- Business Architects will have a tough issue as well: there are now two markets to monitor what the competition is doing. Business Architects especially will have a very hard time delivering the much-promised business services that seem to automagically sprout out of the Cloud, if I may believe the average vendor *cough*
- Security Architects will have the time of their life - they'll finally be taken seriously. And there will be a tyranny of some kind for a short while, I think. These unsung heroes will have to come out and play, and it will be a while before we all get used to their role in the play. Most of the time they'll just be very, very right...
- Governance Architects will, of course, encounter the biggest issues. Database tweaking, log-purgeing, it can't be done by looking someone in the eye anymore. Rock-solid, well-documented, repeatable, rehearsable, foolproof maintenance documents, operation and installation guidelines will be indispensible. Loadbalancing? Clustering? Failover? Monitoring? Logging? I'm predicting that the term "planned disruption" will get a widely known, popular meaning in this increasingly complex chain of interdependencies
As it works with groups and individuals, having a mutual enemy (or just focuspoint) could make our old-fashioned (IT-)organisation more intimate.
One thing I know for sure though: flirting with the Cloud will cause a formal divorce, without much, if any, room for bartering. Intimacy will be lost to a great extent, and we'll need coolblooded architects in order to arbitrate ahead of any potential conflict
There will still be EA's in their role, but their function(s) will change dramatically