According to Adrian Cockcroft, ex Cloud Architect at Netflix and now with Battery Ventures, 2014 could spell the end of enterprise computing as we know it. According to the misquoted Mark Twain – “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated” – the same holds true for enterprise computing.
It would be a fallacy to assume, of course that enterprise computing represents some constant of the IT industry as a whole. In the sphere of technology, change is one constant we can depend on. However it’s also true to say that once a technology gets created, it very rarely fades away forever. The death of the mainframe, tape, COBOL or even programming have variously been predicted over the years. Yes, in 1981 a software package called “The Last One” was released that claimed to put an end to the need to write programs; we would merely select the options we needed and the code would be generated for us. Well, we know how much that achieved. I doubt many people have even heard of “The Last One”, even those intimate with programming and computer languages.
All technologies or markets go through three phases; growth, steady state and decline, not necessarily in that order and not necessarily once. The mainframe market is probably in steady state after many years of decline. According to this article, some believe that virtualisation is in decline; containers (a la Docker) is certainly in the growth phase.
Enterprise IT is in constant flux, some technologies are on the rise and popular and some aren’t. That brings us back to Cockcroft’s assumption on enterprise IT. It’s probably better to say that cloud computing, containers and other new technologies will become rather than replace enterprise computing as they reach a level of maturity and then adoption by enterprise-class customers. Enterprise computing won’t go away; it will just mean something different to every generation who joins the IT workplace.
What does that mean for the enterprise? New technology provides a means to deliver new services or improve on the efficiency of existing ones. Each of these will need evaluation to see whether they offer genuine benefit or simply are part of the current hype cycle. Langton Blue is here to help you make that decision.