You can literally say that there is never a dull moment in IT because the pace of innovation is steady. With cloud computing being around for the last 10 years. We are now ready to move into a new era or even a new paradigm in IT. Micro services, serverless computing, machine learning and artificial intelligence are the keywords of your new IT landscape. I believe it’s not a question if you are going to migrate to such environments, but when. Read this blog for my opinion on the key elements of changing IT.
Change and Innovation
From the moment we started using computers in business, at that time mainly mainframes and minicomputers we have been on a steady pace of change and innovation. Mainframes became minis, minis became servers and desktop computing took off. Hardware became cheaper and cheaper and at the same time more and more powerful due to Moore’s law. On the software side we have seen the monolithic program steadily turning into a more modular and service oriented approach. To be honest, when you look at the libraries functions that you would typically have on an IBM mainframe service oriented architecture in its core was already there as well. Calling functions allows reuse of code, the big change came when it became easier and easier to create a service oriented architecture due to ubiquity of the Internet and the advent of SOAP and APIs.
Then suddenly in 2006 or there about Amazon started with something called cloud computing. At that moment grid computing was one of the most popular research topics in the European framework programs FP6 and FP7 universities and companies work together to trying to find a new computing paradigm only to be outsmarted by Amazon with their cloud computing proposition. Creating large computers by bundling computing resources into one supercomputer suddenly fell out of fashion in favor of the pay as you go promise of cloud computing. And it has been quite a ride for Amazon, the market leader by far and has enabled something we can call the next phase of IT.
Combination of technologies
We are now entering that phase, one that I might say is actually new. It is not on technology per se it is a combination and amalgamation of technologies that enable us to enter a new era of IT, one that is based on micro services, containers and even serverless computing. With computing resources at our fingertips, the ability to deliver infrastructure as code using scripting languages like Vagrant and Ansible we have almost instant IT. On top of that you see the development towards micro services and away from the traditional enterprise service bus paradigm. I would like to add that this is not the end of the ESB and the technology behind it. As long as our IT landscapes are heavily heterogeneous we still need multiple technologies to make it work. At the back and we might have mainframes real or virtualized that are the work horses or for instance our payment systems in banks. On the other hand we see the enormous drive to the use of mobile devices both in business to business world as well as the consumer world using APIs to communicate. In more government environments we still see a lot of proven technology like Soap but also new developments like REST and event driven architectures.
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
On top of all that there is the advent of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Not the scary 2001 a space Odyssey technology were HAL (a clever acronym, just at 1 to each letter, so H becomes I) refuses to open the doors because it believes that is not in the interests of the human. Not what I’m talking about is artificial intelligence and machine learning help us with tedious tasks like classifying the trip that you make with your car into work-related and private trips. Helping us to determine trends and act upon them. Of course, there is also the whole digital transformation that is going on.
The Future is Now
So your IT landscape will change now and in the future in order to be able to make that change you need to have the right solutions in place. A solution that will allow you to create a traditional enterprise service bus environment, integrated machine learning and AI into your systems, allows you to create micro services that will run on servers containers, locally or in the cloud. And of course all of this in agile and adaptive way. But there are more requirements that you should take into account when you look for that solution or if you want to verify whether your current solution is up to it. In order to help you with this we our selection guide on selecting an Enterprise Service Bus (including micro services) might can help you.