That’s it…I have had enough! Enough of “the cloud,” enough of the “SaaS,” or “IaaS,” or “PaaS,” or whatever funky initials (I don’t think they’re technically acronyms) you want to throw out there with over dramatized capitalization of the first and last letters. And yes “social media,” I am done with you too. You’ve been a great mistress in my IT career, but let’s face it, you’ve just been a fleeting plaything in my life. A victim of a “hit it and quit it” relationship that I have overly enjoyed in the past few years of knowing you.
Now that I’ve had a chance to start this blog post with a bit of a dramatic rant, I now get to explain what I’ve actually had “enough” of. OK, I admit it’s not really about quitting the endorsement of the previously mentioned technologies (“social media”…we’re stuck together and I love you), but rather the fragmented thinking in how IT relates to the various offerings that go beyond the standard IT infrastructure.
Infrastructure. Now there’s a word I need to harp on a bit. “Infra” is actually a Latin for “below,” while “structure” is used to define an underlying frame that helps to provide organization. So the cloud, aaS’s and social media (yes, I’m aware social media can technically be hosted within an IT department, but the best ones simply aren’t) all are not part of this “infrastructure.” They stand alone out there in the IT toolbox, some being tested by a few freethinking organizations, while others have been wholeheartedly adopted, but all never being considered an intertwined composite, or structure, of technologies. So while everyone is familiar with the tried and tested phrase of IT infrastructure, I can’t think of many people that have considered the IT ultrastructure (if you have, please let me know).
This is where I would like to propose the formal and official introduction of the IT Ultrastructure. Just like there are two sides to every Schwartz (per Mel Brooks), there are now two sides to every IT; one “below” the organization as hosted equipment, and another “beyond,” with physical care and integrity being provided outside of the same organization. And if you know my ITSM background, which would have to be present in any blog with “ITIL” in the title, you should know what I’m about to state…ITSM will be the integral discipline that can help organizations achieve value by providing services through the unified coordination of both environments (that actually sounds relatively intelligent). This means service catalogue management and business relationship management will be just as important, if not more so, than traditionally infrastructure focused processes such as incident management or problem management. Keep in mind, I’m not intending to state that some processes will overtake others in their importance. Rather, some processes will simply come to light as providing a higher level of value earlier in an organization’s maturity.
Will the IT ultrasctructure ever overtake its infra-brother? In the future, per a few opinions of very intelligent people I know (I’m referring to you J.D. as I don’t wan to take credit), it’s entirely possible. Will it ever really happen? Probably not for a very, very, very, very, very, very, very…very long time. But if you look at Google Docs, Gmail, Amazon EC2, Dropbox, Salesforce, Yammer/Twitter, ServiceNow, etc., etc….it’s a very real possibility that a company could almost run entirely as an ultrastructure (which means I can probably delete a few of those verys). So I may not be really crazy here. Or maybe I am and the voices in my head are telling me to type this blog post….