What is it that makes the world which we live in and work different from the world as we knew it 10 years ago? And what will it look like if we look five years ahead in time?
Last week I discovered Chris Hadfield on Twitter (@Cmdr_Hadfield), if you haven’t heard of him I can tell you that he is a Canadian astronaut currently living in space aboard ISS as Flight Engineer on Expedition.
Chris is taken photos from where he is in outer space with his system camera and shares the pictures on Twitter. From his micro blog he also comments and informs us non astronauts about life as it is for a person living in space. You will find spectacular pictures from his camera on Twitter and you can of course also ask him questions and follow his discussion threads with other earthlings. As a nerd I find this, of course, amazing and now I just have to know what it is like in space and how the earth looks like from up there. It also made me think of things that happen closer to my daily life as an Enterprise Architect and particularly my involvement in systems integrations in mid-size and larger companies where I am often involved in the preparation for companies to stay innovative. This by assisting them in the preparation work to provide the best experience for their customers to do informed decisions with the help from IT. In my simple earthling thoughts I was looking both back in time and also made an attempt to look forward into the future and this is what I came up with. So how come I started to think of my job instead of continuing with high flying plans?
Well; 10 years ago I didn’t know that I would write an activity log on the web (Facebook), I didn’t know that my phone had everything I would need from a flashlight to internet and even a telephone, I didn’t know that I would use Instagram to share my images, hell I didn’t even know that I had a need to share images… I certainly didn’t know that I would be “familiar” to an astronaut and I should be able to chat with him from my mobile. The only contact you had with astronauts at that time was from Discovery channel or on the news when well-known reporters had a few minutes to interview the astronauts with well-prepared questions. The media companies also had in their power the possibility to adjust the questions and answers to suite their own purpose. If they had a political or religious purpose, Excuse me for being a bit paranoid…
There are so many things I didn’t know about at that time but in one sense I did a wise choice even though I wasn’t aware of the decisions taken at the beginning of 2000 to focus on not only technique, SOA and information management but also that the governance of services would pay off over and over again as new technical enablers arises. To have a stable ground to build on to meet up with the change in the way we communicate and do business today makes it possible to keep up and change communication channels as the market change. With well-defined SOA-interfaces and with processes to govern and develop the services so that it really mirrors your organizations daily business you will stand prepared to use any new opportunities that will be taken for granted by your customers tomorrow. This you can rely on because information is relatively stable and not sensitive to technical changes.
Looking ahead 5-10 years from now we have most probably developed in a totally different approach from what we believe is possible today both in the way we do business and share our knowledge with our customers and friends as well as what tools that is in our hands to support us in decision making and forecasting. Evolution has brought us to where we are today in a few billion years and you can see that the slope has increased the last hundred years but now things are coming to change radically. The number one reason why we will see a dramatic increase in speed of behavior changes and the way our social and business habits will affect our lives is the introduction of cloud computing.
With the introduction of the cloud the innovation will burst and we will most probably see technical changes happen in a pace never seen before. This since the cloud gives every developer and innovator (You and I, and even our neighbor) a low cost super computer to carry out his vision to a cost that is affordable or at least worth taken an economically risk for. The cloud will for sure change the way we act and on what base we take decisions in the future.
For companies that are actively working to have a strategy for IT-management and Integration strategy this is good news since they can benefit from the new opportunities in a fast and cost effective way. For companies who has taken short cuts and that have only relied on techniques will have it slightly harder and cannot take advantage in the same way as competitors that had a plan for their business IT.
By the way: Just when I finished this blog post I Googled the title and the Google super cloud computer told me that my title was one of 20 600 000 pages with the sentence “Sharing is caring” in the page. Google also had the nerve to calculate the number of results in 0,26 seconds. Worse than Google is that my colleagues laughed and told me that I was probably the last person in the universe not knowing that “Sharing is caring” is a commonly used expression (I will of course ask Chris Hadfield about this).
Never mind! Even though I love to do preparation to meet new enablers in IT I am still a stone aged man in his best years and I can make decisions that is not recommended by a machine just because I feel for it and keeping the title in this blog post is my way of proving it. Hopefully that shows that there is room for us people in the future despite all IT innovators sitting in front of their computers developing the most stunning artificial intelligences which is deployed on a super computer near you with capability to index, analyze billions and billions of pages and throw a result in your face that you do not want to know and all this in a fraction of a second.
Or maybe I am wrong; maybe there is no room for a grumpy man in his best years in the future.
Who knows? Only time will tell. But at least you can prepare for a change because it will come. And you can also prepare by starting to not only looking at technical enablers but also think:
Make a plan on how you should meet the future and make sure that integration is a part of that plan.