Everyone talks about the consumerization of IT and how end-users are demanding enterprise support of things like iPhones, iPads and many other pieces of technology. People want to be able to consume IT as a resource on any device or platform they have. This is happening between enterprise hardware and software vendors and service providers.
I’ve met with quite a few them recently and they usually fall into two camps. Ones who have invested and attempted to develop their own intellectual property and others who have leveraged economies of scale and rely on vendors to supply the IP. There are exceptions to this rule of course. The first camp is what I want to focus on.
Here is what they want:
- Align with my business and go-to-market strategy
- Don’t can your offering with SP-focused marketing materials if it can’t honor the promises
- Have hardware and software with open interfaces
- Have well-documented interfaces
- Be agile in the adoption of new interfaces
These conversations tend to revolve around the self-service portals many of the pure-play service providers have developed. They don’t want a canned out of the box offering, they want to be able to provision and orchestrate the compute, network and storage layer through things like SOAP and REST protocols. When you develop these interfaces and hand them over to the developers, strange things happen. Nick “@lynxbat” Weaver exemplifies this. He isn’t a developer by day but you give him some APIs and he can do crazy things on a plane like write a vSphere plugin that allows VM teleportation with our (EMC’s) VPLEX product.
Now I’m not ignoring the need for software development lifecycle management, version control. Those are all important. The thing is that the “neat stuff” us and our customers do can only get better if we open up with good APIs that have a happy balance between standardization and cutting-edge agility.
Why do I beat this drum? Because it’s a win for enterprise hardware/software vendors and our customers. What is most exciting about this is that I’ve beat this drum inside of EMC, not as a VP of strategic direction but as a joe-schmoe vSpecialist. What has come out of it? A lot of people have listened and it is a huge priority. I’ve said it before on twitter but one of the best things about working at EMC is that the organization is huge but very flat. The reality is that I’ve been able to nudge an aircraft carrier with the help of others and start to change course. This isn’t a post about why I love working at EMC but I think it’s a darn compelling reason. Our work has just begun…