The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

Voodoo and Hoodoo, why is IT still a craft industry?

A day of odd connections today. I was looking at an article about HP’s latest prefabricated data center offering and musing on why the IT world is still more of a craft than a industry. Here I am comparing the way IT solutions are defined and built with the pre-industrial craft processes where every joint, screw and nail were individually crafted rather than being of uniform size.


It’s the same today still in the IT world. There is no common single standard for describing server performance. Instead each manufacturer encourages the standards that favour the unique features of their hardware.  The strange thing is that we have managed to make a virtue of this rather than seeing it for the problem it actually is. This thought can from an unrelated product description I saw of a book on Amazon.


“Voodoo and Hoodoo tells how these spiritual descendents of African medicine men and sorcerers lay tricks and work their magic and explains the hold these practices have had on their believers, from their Old World origins until today.”

We are so used to the way It has developed as a craft that we question as often as we should it’s value. Here I refer back to Nicholas Carr’s article “IT doesn’t matter”.


As we move towards the service based model for Cloud Computing, it becomes more important to focus on the delivery of the business service not on the hardware itself. As Carr put it “they become commodity inputs”. For Cloud to become as ubiquitous as electricity we will need to take a more industrialized and standardised view of the hardware and of the services we deliver to end-users.  This applies as all levels of the possible service abstraction levels of the cloud, so server, virtual environment, data center and the cloud itself. Thus I do see that moving to a standardized, industrialized, model for building data centres recognise that the value is not in the data centre itself but in being able to quickly and reliably create consumable services that can be delivered into the cloud.

Labels: Data centers
| ‎07-27-2010 07:58 PM

With the advent of component based development, SOA and SaaS it goes much deeper than just the infrastructrure layer. The whole concept of application maybe obsolete are more and more they are turning into aggrigations of services and software compoenents.

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