Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Looking back - Cloud's biggest victory in 2010

Well, the year is coming to an end, and the question was bound to come up on ebizQ's Cloud Computing forum.

So, what was the biggest thing to happen to the cloud in 2010?

Indeed, 2010 was indisputably a big year for the cloud. However, if I had to pick one event as cloud's biggest victory in 2010, it would have to be the adoption of a cloud-first policy by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget Agencies (OMB) that requires Federal Agencies to consider cloud as their first choice while proposing new IT programs as part of the 2012 budget process. This open willingness to adopt cloud by the U.S Federal Government is a really big deal for the cloud especially when you consider that the Federal Government has spent over $600 billion on IT related inverstments over the past decade and has a current annual budget of close to $80 billion.

* Originally posted on the ebizQ Cloud Computing forum on December 21, 2010.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

SOA... is the answer as simple as "outsourcing it"?

Today's discussion on the ever-lively ebizQ SOA forum was inspired by the article Why I Outsourced Application Development to China on CIO.com, which gives some lessons learned on IT outsourcing specifically related to SOA.

Hence the question on the forum: Does it make sense to outsource your SOA?

I think the following paragraph from the article is key to understanding the context of the question:

"...Tactically, Lee wanted to replace Interval's core applications and move to a service-oriented architecture (SOA). Strategically, she wanted to create an agile IT organization better able to respond to changes in the business. Outsourcing new application development to an offshore provider with experience in SOA and agile development would enable a quicker—and cheaper—transformation on both fronts..."

Two noteworthy points include:
  1. SOA was seen as a tactic for realizing the agile IT strategy.
  2. Only new applications were being considered for SOA.
So, while the approach Lee took might have achieved her vision, I have fundamental disagreements with both points above.

First, SOA is not a tactic but a long-term strategy for achieving an agile IT organization. In fact, most of the so called "failures" can ultimately be traced to a near-sighted, short-term approach to SOA.

Second, limiting SOA to only new applications and their development misses a primary benefit of SOA - the benefit of breaking down the highly fortified silos of functionality to create a more transparent, open, and collaborative IT environment.

So, in conclusion, while outsourcing application development definitely makes sense, outsourcing "SOA", in my view of the world, does not.

* Originally posted in the ebizQ SOA forum on December 15, 2010.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Finally... I can CLAIM my CISM

What right now seems like ages ago, back in March, I started studying for my CISM (Certified Information Security Manager) certification.

I took the CISM exam on June 12th, waited for a gruelling 61 days to find out on August 13th that I had PASSED.

I then applied for my CISM credential on September 3rd and today finally after 90 days I just received notification that I have been granted the credential.

Amazingly, I spent 5 months just waiting! That's more time than I spent preparing for the exam!

So, the entire process form beginning to end... 9 months. Doesn't something else take nine months as well?


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Service Orientation Conundrum

Today's question on the ebizQ SOA forum was inspired from Joe McKendrick's ZDnet blog posting where he refers to the classic SOA conundrum: Does good service-oriented architecture result from having a “service-oriented” focus and organization, or does SOA help lead to a more service-oriented organization?

We've all heard about questions that have no answer. To me this is an example of just the opposite - a question that answers itself!

The simple fact is that you need both - the service oriented organization (culture) and the service oriented architecture (technology); neither one is the master; and they form an iterative, virtuous circle.

So, which came first, the chicken or the egg?

* Originally posted in the ebizQ SOA Forum on December 1, 2010.