By Matt Heller
There’s an old saying that failing to plan is a plan to fail. I was reminded of that while reading over the headline campaign for the upcoming Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo. “How will the future of the web impact your strategy and vision?” Years after the web has become mainstream in both our personal and professional lives; many people take the web for granted. The web has become so easy and reliable that we often think of it and say ‘it’ll just work’ and not give it more thought. However, the web evolves faster than any other toolset we use and has evolved faster than previous business tools ever did.
We’re not used to things moving this fast. Moreover, many businesses can’t move at that pace – for good reasons. There’s the underlying economics and return on investment, where organizations need to ensure they get the return for their time and money to deploy a system before replacement or overhaul. There’s the reality that many organizations need time to ensure systems are stable, issues don’t surface regressions, and the time it takes to move through that process requires a specific timetable — alternatively, the reality of regulatory controls that prohibit an organization from making changes at short intervals.
The problem with these realities is that they seem to be in direct opposition to the current iteration/evolution of our core business systems. Browser vendors are on a multi-week release cycle for delivering new browser builds, and even Microsoft is releasing Windows updates faster than ever before. Thinking about how things are evolving and the rapid pace of change, I was struck by a quote Gartner cited from Sir Tim Berners-Lee “The Web as I envisaged it, we have not seen it yet. The future is still so much bigger than the past.” The only thing of which we can be sure of is change.
So how do we build a plan designed around change? (lest we fail to plan and all that)
I think the process begins with thinking about how you manage core end-user environments. The management and deployment tools we all used only a few years ago are not designed for the environment of today, so we should be looking at those tools. Today more and more applications are being used in a browser and thus present a challenge using traditional toolsets. We might not be able to control the unknowns and the changes it brings, but we can plan now and avoid being caught unprepared. Reviewing, updating, and deploying the proper ITOM tools today – those designed for the future of end-user computing in a web-based and dynamic environment – helps ensure your organization is ready for whatever comes along.
Now is the time to be thinking about it. Gartner’s question is a great invitation to begin the discussion in your organization.