The Emergence of the IBM Cloud Garage: A Method, a Cloud, and an Experiment

5 min read

The Emergence of the IBM Cloud Garage: A Method, a Cloud, and an Experiment

The IBM Cloud Garage is turning five on April 28, 2019. I’ve, fortunately, been a part of the Cloud Garage the majority of its existence, joining four years ago. Throughout my time, I’ve observed the changes not only within the Cloud Garage, but also in our customers’ environments.

The Emergence of the IBM Cloud Garage: A Method, a Cloud, and an Experiment-1

The emergence of the method

In my view, there is a personal tipping point while adopting a method when you transition from merely following the practices to believing that a useful outcome will emerge. I’ve experienced this realization a few times throughout my career: firstly, on my first SCRUM project as a developer in 2006; secondly, when I joined IBM and employed the IBM architecture method on a troubled project; and lastly, when I joined the Cloud Garage and saw firsthand what design thinking and lean startup practices can achieve for our customers.

Over the past years of Cloud Garage engagements, I have seen the IBM Garage Method for Cloud develop further and mature to the point that I trust its ability to deliver an outcome, even if that outcome disproves a hypothesis.

The emergence of the IBM Cloud

I’ve also slowly but surely noticed enhancements in our cloud’s ability to address non-functional customer requirements. Whilst the underlying platform was highly available, it was challenging to address required system qualities such as disaster recovery, high-availability, data sovereignty, and other security concerns (such as single tenancy) when designing customer solutions.

Today, the IBM Cloud offers an option-rich environment for an architect to design with—multiple compute options, global load balancers, data service replication via a few clicks, many more data centers to choose from with multiple availability zones, and much improved security standard compliance. Similarly, the Cloud Garage was born with a focus on public PaaS, whereas today, the focus on hybrid includes combinations of private, dedicated, and shared deployment options to design with. In short, this means I can say “yes” a lot more often than I could in 2015.

The emergence of the experiment

Coming from IBM Global Business Services (GBS), I was used to very large and complex projects with hundreds to thousands of people and similarly large price tags, which were typically a fixed price. I’ve seen the emergence of the “experimental” approach to solve business problems with IT, where the customer is willing to share the risk and their procurement departments are willing to sign off on unspecified outcomes. Even government departments have bought into the notion of try, test, and learn.

I’ve believed for a long time that agile software development is the right way to build software products, and after years of applying lean startup practices, I now also believe that focused MVPs are the right way to solve business problems.

Happy birthday, Cloud Garage!

My last four years in the Cloud Garage have shown me a different way to approach customer problems, and when backed by frictionless cloud capabilities, a small and focused team can achieve great things, fast.

Happy fifth birthday, IBM Cloud Garage. 🙂

This blog is a part of a series celebrating the fifth anniversary of the IBM Cloud Garage. 

To learn more about the IBM Cloud Garage, find our story, resources, and method here. If you would like to see how the IBM Cloud Garage can help your business, schedule a cost-free, four-hour virtual visit with us. We’d love to help you turn that idea into a reality.

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