When Your CEO Says, “Silicon Valley Is Coming…” What Do You Do?

December 17, 2015 Adam Bloom

sfeatured-pcfEarlier this month, Gartner put on their Application Architecture, Development, and Integration Summit, and Michael Coté represented us with a talk called, “Cloud Native Promises in the Land of Continuously Delivered Microservices.” It explains the why, what, and how of delivering software in the era of digital-first business—below we summarize his presentation and provide plenty of links, at the end, to help you through the Cloud Native Journey.

As the slides and video show, Coté jumps right into the “why this presentation matters” point, extracting a quote from the most recent JP Morgan Chase letter to shareholders. In it, CEO Jamie Dimon says, “Silicon Valley is coming. There are hundreds of startups with a lot of brains and money working on various alternatives to traditional banking…We are going to work hard to make our services as seamless and competitive as theirs.”

This quote underscores what most business leaders believe about software and data today—it is becoming one of the primary source of competitive advantage, customer acquisition, loyalty, and future profit. To put it more bluntly, companies either get really good at delivering software and managing data, or fall by the wayside—like the Blockbuster versus Netflix storyline. The problem, as Coté points out from recent surveys, is that IT currently has a poor track record when it comes to delivering business innovation successfully.

The Three Components of the Cloud Native Way

Coté spends the rest of his presentation explaining how technology leaders need to think differently and transform their company into one that is great at delivering software.

Fundamentally, companies really have to understand the vector for change and the culture required to support it—if you just install some cloud software, you will fail. You have to know how to use that new stack of technology and reorient how your organization operates accordingly. At Pivotal, we refer to this mindset for change as the Cloud Native Way, and there are three main components:

  • Continuous Delivery. One, we must be able to mechanically deliver software much more quickly than in the past, where releases took months. In other words, we must learn to operate, as the default, in a world where software updates are deployed weekly, if not multiple times a day. This has very specific implications.
  • Microservices. Two, because of their monolithic nature, traditional application architectures can make continuous software deployment difficult over time. So, we have to redesign applications into a microservices model that helps reduce dependencies between each service.
  • DevOps. Three, we have to remove friction between software development and operations teams. Keeping frequently deployed code up and running has challenges that require much closer collaboration between the two, traditionally separate roles. This is the culture of DevOps.

The presentation goes on to explain more about the Cloud Native Way and articulates a framework for pulling the platforms, culture, and tools together so that any company can deliver software the way JP Morgan Chase (and every other company) needs to.

Key Presentation References:

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