Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Charles Araujo, Flint Brenton

Blog Feed Post

Customers Typology: The Captive who Knows Everything

One of the posts in the Customers Typology series was titled: Customers Typology: The Captive. I described The Captive as: "The Captive Customer's opinion is that someone else is the Oracle. He will do whatever the Oracle will say". Frequently the Oracle is a Software and/or Hardware vendor.

Another post was titled: Customers Typology: The Customer who Knows Everything. I described customer of that type as: "This Customer type is sure that he knows more than anyone else. He is also sure that his understanding is better than any body's understanding".

Would you imagine that there is another customer type combining both types? 

You probably hardly believe that this type is not a fiction story.

If he is a Captive, he will do exactly what his Captor will recommend.   
If he Knows Everything, he will follow only his opinion.

The best way to describe this type is by example. The example is of a long time ago Case Study.

IT Consulting Assignment 
A non-Information Technology friend called me. He is performing an Audit for a CEO. Is it possible that I will join him in order to address the IT aspects?
I accepted the challenge.

The Background
The most Business Critical Application was developed many years ago. The IDE is obsolete. Only one employee has the skills required for maintaining the application.
It is clear that the system should be developed from scratch using a Mainstream IDE.

A Large development Project was initiated. After two years the development completed. 

The IT department built the same functionality and the same processes included in the old system without functional changes. They thought that it is only Technical transformation: usage of a new IDE instead the obsolete IDE. 

Unfortunately, The Business Customer, who was not participated in the development process (and probably was notified about the Development Project after its completion), thought that the new system does not address his requirements properly.

How should the CEO solve the problem?

1. The organization built a new system. 

2. The organization spend a lot of money and human resources. 

3. The new System probably do not address the Business Customer needs. 

The key questions to ask are:

1. What should the organization do in order to minimize the damage?
Should it rebuild the system again? should it adapt the system to the Business users needs? or should it ask the Business users to adapt to the system?

2. What lessons should be learned from the failure?

The CEO decided to do an audit by external Subject Matter Expert. He chose my friend as the external  Subject Matter Expert.

A note about Business and IT Gap
SOA is about Business and IT Alignment. Every time I am lecturing on SOA, I talk about the Business-IT Gap before diving into technical details. If you read posts in my blog, you may find that I repeat and repeat this idea. Read for example:

Will Business and IT Aligned?

SOA and SCS

STKI Summit 2011 - SOA Perspective: Business Services or only Integration 

This Case Study is an example I am using to describe to my students Business-IT Gap as part of my SOA lecture.

My Role
My role in the audit was to evaluate the Information Technology aspects of the system.

When my friend told me which IDE was selected, I told him immediately that it is a wrong decision.
I also told him that I am capable of bringing the vendor's employees and they will support my viewpoint about the IDE their company developed.

Why would employees recommend not to use their company's products?
The company already developed a lot better IDE. They prefer that customers use a good product and not a limited product. I guess that in 3-5 years the vendor will not support the old IDE.

The customer was a Captive Customer. I would surely recommend usage of the new IDE developed by the same vendor. 

How come that the Customer was a Captive and a Customer who Knows Everything simultaneously?
The answer is simple: If he were not a Customer who Knows Everything, he would ask for the Vendor's experts recommendation.

I am 100% sure that anyone working for the Vendor and any good external Consultant will recommend usage of the new and better IDE (under the assumption that it should be an IDE developed by this vendor). 


Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Avi Rosenthal

Ari has over 30 years of experience in IT across a wide variety of technology platforms, including application development, technology selection, application and infrastructure strategies, system design, middleware and transaction management technologies and security.

Positions held include CTO for one of the largest software houses in Israel as well as the CTO position for one of the largest ministries of the Israeli government.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
When you focus on a journey from up-close, you look at your own technical and cultural history and how you changed it for the benefit of the customer. This was our starting point: too many integration issues, 13 SWP days and very long cycles. It was evident that in this fast-paced industry we could no longer afford this reality. We needed something that would take us beyond reducing the development lifecycles, CI and Agile methodologies. We made a fundamental difference, even changed our culture...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Mike Johnston, an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io, discussed how to use Kubernetes to set up a SaaS infrastructure for your business. Mike Johnston is an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io with over 12 years of experience designing, deploying, and maintaining server and workstation infrastructure at all scales. He has experience with brick and mortar data centers as well as cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace. H...
You often hear the two titles of "DevOps" and "Immutable Infrastructure" used independently. In his session at DevOps Summit, John Willis, Technical Evangelist for Docker, covered the union between the two topics and why this is important. He provided an overview of Immutable Infrastructure then showed how an Immutable Continuous Delivery pipeline can be applied as a best practice for "DevOps." He ended the session with some interesting case study examples.
Without lifecycle traceability and visibility across the tool chain, stakeholders from Planning-to-Ops have limited insight and answers to who, what, when, why and how across the DevOps lifecycle. This impacts the ability to deliver high quality software at the needed velocity to drive positive business outcomes. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Eric Robertson, General Manager at CollabNet, will discuss how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that e...
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
The taxi industry never saw Uber coming. Startups are a threat to incumbents like never before, and a major enabler for startups is that they are instantly “cloud ready.” If innovation moves at the pace of IT, then your company is in trouble. Why? Because your data center will not keep up with frenetic pace AWS, Microsoft and Google are rolling out new capabilities. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Don Browning, VP of Cloud Architecture at Turner, posited that disruption is inevitable for comp...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
"This all sounds great. But it's just not realistic." This is what a group of five senior IT executives told me during a workshop I held not long ago. We were working through an exercise on the organizational characteristics necessary to successfully execute a digital transformation, and the group was doing their ‘readout.' The executives loved everything we discussed and agreed that if such an environment existed, it would make transformation much easier. They just didn't believe it was reali...
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, provided a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services with...
Containers are rapidly finding their way into enterprise data centers, but change is difficult. How do enterprises transform their architecture with technologies like containers without losing the reliable components of their current solutions? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Tony Campbell, Director, Educational Services at CoreOS, will explore the challenges organizations are facing today as they move to containers and go over how Kubernetes applications can deploy with lega...
The “Digital Era” is forcing us to engage with new methods to build, operate and maintain applications. This transformation also implies an evolution to more and more intelligent applications to better engage with the customers, while creating significant market differentiators. In both cases, the cloud has become a key enabler to embrace this digital revolution. So, moving to the cloud is no longer the question; the new questions are HOW and WHEN. To make this equation even more complex, most ...
Learn how to solve the problem of keeping files in sync between multiple Docker containers. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Aaron Brongersma, Senior Infrastructure Engineer at Modulus, discussed using rsync, GlusterFS, EBS and Bit Torrent Sync. He broke down the tools that are needed to help create a seamless user experience. In the end, can we have an environment where we can easily move Docker containers, servers, and volumes without impacting our applications? He shared his results so yo...
Don’t go chasing waterfall … development, that is. According to a recent post by Madison Moore on Medium featuring insights from several software delivery industry leaders, waterfall is – while still popular – not the best way to win in the marketplace. With methodologies like Agile, DevOps and Continuous Delivery becoming ever more prominent over the past 15 years or so, waterfall is old news. Or, is it? Moore cites a recent study by Gartner: “According to Gartner’s IT Key Metrics Data report, ...
Enterprise architects are increasingly adopting multi-cloud strategies as they seek to utilize existing data center assets, leverage the advantages of cloud computing and avoid cloud vendor lock-in. This requires a globally aware traffic management strategy that can monitor infrastructure health across data centers and end-user experience globally, while responding to control changes and system specification at the speed of today’s DevOps teams. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Gray, Chie...
Kubernetes is a new and revolutionary open-sourced system for managing containers across multiple hosts in a cluster. Ansible is a simple IT automation tool for just about any requirement for reproducible environments. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Patrick Galbraith, a principal engineer at HPE, discussed how to build a fully functional Kubernetes cluster on a number of virtual machines or bare-metal hosts. Also included will be a brief demonstration of running a Galera MyS...
Many organizations are now looking to DevOps maturity models to gauge their DevOps adoption and compare their maturity to their peers. However, as enterprise organizations rush to adopt DevOps, moving past experimentation to embrace it at scale, they are in danger of falling into the trap that they have fallen into time and time again. Unfortunately, we've seen this movie before, and we know how it ends: badly.
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
"I focus on what we are calling CAST Highlight, which is our SaaS application portfolio analysis tool. It is an extremely lightweight tool that can integrate with pretty much any build process right now," explained Andrew Siegmund, Application Migration Specialist for CAST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In IT, we sometimes coin terms for things before we know exactly what they are and how they’ll be used. The resulting terms may capture a common set of aspirations and goals – as “cloud” did broadly for on-demand, self-service, and flexible computing. But such a term can also lump together diverse and even competing practices, technologies, and priorities to the point where important distinctions are glossed over and lost.