|By Brad Vaughan||
|March 18, 2014 09:15 AM EDT||
It is still very difficult for a traditional enterprise to find a path from current infrastructure deployment models to a pure cloud architecture. I have discussed many times before that a very tangible "Trigger Event" needs to be identified that will get the gears in motion. The recipe for this change, often needs a second ingredient which is readily accessible technology that allows IT to create solutions with minimal upfront investment (i.e ShadowIT).
This "Trigger Event" cannot be described in abstract terms like "ROI" or "TCO" and definiely not business strategy terms like "agility" or "time-2-market". These are all good labels to frame the beginning of the discussion at executive levels, but where the rubber meets the road is real applications providing real intelligence or new services. The problem is most enterprises have a large legacy environment of applications. They are struggling under the burden of maintenance and operations. Each of these applications has a significant amount of "lock-in", preventing them from making any significant change. To adopt a completely new architecture, like a horizontally scalable web architecture would require a complete collapse of the existing application. The guardians vendors of enterprise applications rarely let that occur.
A completely new workload is found. The killer app for the new platform. For the PC it was Windows and probably MS Excel. For UNIX/Linux it was the Internet, or more specifically gopher, web-servers, newsgroups, DNS, mail etc.. Something that is currently not mainstream in the larger companies. Unfortunately cloud computing trailed the web application architecture into the enterprise by too many years to ride that initial wave. There is something that is high in the consciousness of CIO's and cloud computing could provide the killer app.
Commodity Big Data!
Analytics has a long history in traditional enterprise. Companies have been spending large amounts on analytics software from Oracle, Teradata and IBM. More recently analytics appliances have been popular, costing enterprises even more money. Analytics has always been at the periphery. It has often been seen as a adhoc reporting system for management information systems. Never central to the business. The wave of traditional business use of the Internet and the coming revolution of the "Internet of Things" is about to create a wealth of data that requires new types of workloads to generate value.
Traditional vendors race to try and lock up customers with expensive appliances, but Shadow IT is already downloading, installing and trying out a wide range of open tools to meet this demand. Like all open environments before it the democratization of Big Data is in effect
Please see my post "The Rise of Commodity Big Data" for more thoughts on this topic