Not only does the cloud offer a significant stimulus to organizations and sectors; it also serves as an interesting impetus for the IT profession. Recently, I spoke at a large meeting about the OpenStack cloud operating system. What I witnessed there was that people who have traditionally worked with IT infrastructure are also helping to promote their business thanks to the possibilities of open cloud platforms.
In case you don’t know: OpenStack is an initiative that was launched by NASA and the IT supplier RackSpace around 2010. At that time, people wanted to create their own personal cloud. In addition to the available computer power, storage facilities and network, people also needed software to be able to accomplish this. After a year or two, this software was transferred to an open source community, of which IBM one of the founding fathers. Over the years, this OpenStack-community has grown considerably. The great thing is that the initiative is supported by various large suppliers, who clearly recognize the importance of an open operating system for clouds.
A new release of the software comes out twice a year. At approximately the same time, two worldwide events are held, which are attended by thousands of people. On September 14th 2017, we had a Dutch meeting in ’t Spant in Bussum, where I gave a talk about OpenStack as an enabler and catalyst for cloud-computing. I made an interesting observation.
Not so long ago, these attendees were primarily interested in building their own, private cloud infrastructures; in the interim, people have developed an interest in running services from the outside world; these services are activated using APIs. OpenStack plays a central role in this new environment, in which organizations simultaneously use different clouds and available online services. With the open source cloud operating system, IT managers and their companies transition from their own infrastructure (IaaS) to software and platforms ‘as a service’ (SaaS and Paas), and in this way optimally serve the business. The hybrid model!
This is, in fact, the same development that we ourselves have made with the IBM Cloud, where the traditional infrastructure is augmented with possibilities from the outside accessed via APIs – plus our own technological developments, of course , in the terrain of cognitive computing and quantum processing capacity, for example. Within this OpenStack-based IBM platform, items can be activated with a click of the mouse so to speak.
Infrastructure specialists, who until recently have chosen the cloud because of its lower costs, have become the guardians of the platform. From here, the move to business value is simple. These days I encounter fewer and fewer ITers who are not open to this change. By the same token, infra people also have little choice but to embrace this new world. In so doing, they not only create terrific possibilities for their organization; they also generate new implications and greater significance for both themselves and their profession.
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