Thursday, October 22, 2020

Regaining our composure; watching for signs!

Attending virtual events with more to come, the signs suggest that this is now normal; have you composed yourself ahead of what’s to come?

I have to admit, when this image came to me in a tweet, it brought a smile to my face. Who else but the local authorities in San Jose would have come up with this, based on the expectation that travelers in their city would understand the reference. Given all that is happening around us in these times, it’s pleasing to see that at least one authority retains a sense of humor. On the other hand, I am sure it had the desired effect. Silicon Valley will always have its detractors but it is with signs like this that the human side of technology comes through, resonating with us all.

We didn’t make it up to Silicon Valley on our last trip to California; Monterey was as far north as our time allowed. It’s unusual for us to skip an opportunity to catch up with friends and colleagues but I wanted to make sure I was back in time to wrap up assignments before tuning into the latest virtual event, IR Connect. Let me just say at the outset that this was a very well done event and perhaps the best virtual experience I have had this year.

I am going to leave further observations about this event to a future update for NonStop Insider but having the opportunity to hear first-hand from the IR CEO, Jon Ruthven, and then the Chief Marketing and Product Officer, Kevin Ryder, was illuminating. For the NonStop community, there was plenty of coverage of IR’s three decades in this business with numerous references to NonStop and even as we welcomed the introduction to three overarching solutions - Collaborate, Transact and Infrastructure, all powered by Prognosis – we saw tangible proof that Prognosis not only was embracing the world of Hybrid IT but was capitalizing on the elasticity of provisioning provided by clouds to bring greater ML and AI to bear on addressing real business needs.

Much of this focused on the changes being brought about as we continue to navigate our way through the global pandemic. In a presentation that looked ahead at a direction Prognosis might take, I heard a sentence that has stuck with me ever since. “If we have the predictive insights available and the prescriptive analysis at hand, we should be able to then just translate that into something that could be executed out on the edge to solve the problem for you.”  

Wonderful; not only was this update on Prognosis about Hybrid IT but in addition to the well-known, traditionally functioning Prognosis Server, we now have support of the Cloud (for analytics) as well as for the Intelligent Edge. All of which is to say we are seeing the emergence of an entirely new framework for management and monitoring of systems and applications that has arisen from these times where so much of our interaction with business is virtual, hands-free and for the most part, highly unpredictable if not indeed, entirely subject to the influence of the day!

Almost at the same time, Gartner was holding their annual big-tent IT symposium that normally, many of us trekked to Orlando to join but this year, it too became a virtual experience. According to some of the press coverage that followed, Gartner didn’t shy away from hyping the many ways IT is changing as a result of the global pandemic. Top of the list is our need to focus on availability even as we build out frameworks of our own that are capable of supporting this evolving omni-channel world.

It was several years ago when I quoted Infrasoft CTO Neil Coleman in the post, Frameworks – nothing to write about and yet, in NonStop they are the rock … where he reminded us all that “Frameworks are like our navels, everybody has one.” Explaining this perspective he then added, “and a lot of people may actually think ‘so what’ while others may simply ask ‘why bother, just use something already out there.’” However, there is a lot that is now surfacing that looks awfully like frameworks as vendors launch into bringing the cloud experience to whatever Hybrid IT configuration you elect to deploy. This was very much the subject of considerable promotion by Gartner at this event, the Gartner IT Symposium – Expo.

As reported in NetworkWorld, under the heading Gartner: Top strategic technology trends for 2021 “Companies need to focus on architecting resilience and accept that disruptive change is the norm, says research firm Gartner, which unveiled its annual look at the top strategic technology trends that organizations need to prepare for in the coming year.” This was according to Brian Burke, research vice president at Gartner. Resilience and accepting disruption shouldn’t come as a surprise to the NonStop community and this too was called out in presentations by IR. 

The TechRepublic, under the heading Top tech trends for 2021: Gartner predicts hyperautomation, AI and more will dominate business technology drilled down to what Gartner labelled as trend number 4: Intelligent Composable Business.  “‘They can be developed by vendors or provided by vendors or developed in-house. That kind of framework, that allows you to cobble together those packaged business capabilities, and then access data through a data fabric to provide its configuration and rapid reconfiguration of business services that can be highly granular even personal acts. The intelligent composable business is about bringing together things like better decision making, better access to data that changes the way that we do things, which is required for flexible applications, and which we can deliver when we have this composable approach to application delivery,’ Burke said.”

How about ourselves being composed? It has become so easy to lose our composure during these troubling times and yet, with all the promotion behind composable business, composable approach and yes, composable infrastructure (as frameworks) one thing is for sure. We aren’t decoupled from the demands of IT today even if we no longer can say that we remain hands-on; it’s a virtual world where our desktop monitors are all that connects us with what’s going on out there in the wider world.  

As IR and Gartner now have held their annual summits as virtual events likewise, very soon we will all have the opportunity to attend this year’s NonStop Technical Boot Camp. Given the current global pandemic, it will be virtual even as it has been renamed, The NonStop All Digital Experience. Have you registered yet? Last time I checked more than a thousand of your peers have already done so – you cannot miss out on this major event of the year for NonStop. Predictive; prescriptive; cloud and edge supported; hybrid IT enabled – what IR went to pains to describe has become typical of what today’s IT landscape has become.

There isn’t a business active today that can predict the outcome from the global pandemic nor are there businesses today that can ignore the suggestions coming from vendors, analysts and their competitors. Frameworks may be boring even as composable is becoming rather tired and yet they are anchoring so much of what is now being discussed. Fortunately there is no missing the recommendations for “architecting resilience and accept that disruptive change is the norm” messages for which NonStop is attuned.

There is no shortage of signs telling us how to transact business in these times. Laugh at some and maybe smile a bit, but there’s no shying away from the fact that the world is online 24 x 7 and that resilience benefits most from fault tolerance. These signs may not stop traffic or otherwise prompt us to hit the brakes. They are just reminders that business is a lot harder today than it was just a year ago. As events continue in the virtual world the message couldn’t be any clearer. Keeping an eye on our value proposition, our product differentiation and on our ability to accommodate change are all important; dropping service at any time don’t you think is, well, irresponsible at best and totally ignorant at worst.             

No comments:

Dashboards; one way to view future of NonStop

The HPE NonStop team launches Showcase; GreenLake participation under way! Could you see it all displayed on a dashboard near you? There is ...