Why corporations are lagging

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When agile rose, everyone needed to do agile. When cloud became popular, every company tried/tries to go to cloud. With devops trends being the big thing, all need to automate. It seems all companies have a single common goal in mind: we need to follow the trends.

And how is this working out so far?

It’s easy of course to look at these companies and say they are big, need time to adapt, there is legacy that requires more effort. And this is of course a great incentive to spare no expense in this continuous adaptation. After all, if you don’t adapt you will be left behind. And in a way that’s true. But are they adapting? Do things change?

  • Looking at the agile manifesto, the first rule is “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools”. Did your company try to improve interaction, or did they try to change the process?
  • The essence of using cloud is to empower people to use and scale technology without having to invest in its inner working. Did your company provide individuals or teams with this power, or did they centralize it?
  • Devops derives its power from the increasing responsibility for teams, not just for a piece of software but for end to end service delivery. Did your company give your team control over its own budget, with corresponding accountability?

Many of the big companies have seen their rise in use of technology in the ‘80s and ‘90s. This was the time after experimentation, where the trend was to formalize, make rules and regulations, processes and centralize to enforce.
With the cloud age departments had options, either to stick with enforced limitations or take outside services. It’s a time where centralized IT loses control, because they chose to restrict rather than communicate, enforcing use of external service out of their scope of vision.

And now we’re here, in the age of communication. The essence being that communication is a two-way street. IT departments can’t do their job if they don’t fulfil the requirements of their customers. Teams can’t integrate their services if they don’t listen to each other.

Changing a process template is easy. Changing culture is hard. However, the first step in learning is always to admit there is something you don’t know. These companies are big, they need time to adapt. Will they keep doing what they have always been doing, with new tools, or will they admit there is something they don’t know? Will they be willing to learn, and adapt?

Edwin van der Thiel

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