Ah yes, I am sure we have all at least heard of this book ‘Who Moved My Cheese’ by Dr. Spencer Johnson. A creative way to help people deal with ‘change’. It uses fictional characters to portray human reactions to dealing with change in work and home life, all focused around cheese. Some don’t have the appetite for it, while others will consume sometimes more than they should. But the question is, do you know if your Cheese is on the Move and, if not, should it be?
If you look at the IT landscape of business since the publication of this book it has changed dramatically (talk about moving some cheese!). Companies have moved from ‘best of breed’ systems to ‘integrated systems’ (and we all survived Y2K!). Then we went from managing the systems in house to ‘outsourcing’ the management of our systems. Next, it went from not just outsourcing the management of our systems, but moving the systems off-site to a cheese… I mean, Data Center. Now, over the past few years it is ‘move it all to the cloud’! Hold on. Ok, just making sure nobody moved my cheese.
So let’s think about it, why has there been such a drastic shift in how companies have been approaching the infrastructure of running their business? Well, they aren’t waiting for the cheese to run out. Companies are keeping up with the movement, grasping the concepts of how beneficial these new ideas are and how they can leverage them to be more productive and profitable! Human resource investment is being made more in running the company and not running a system. And why is this? Because systems are becoming more reliable and intuitive for people to use. The need to have in-house support of your environment is no longer a cost effective approach. Having the hardware on-site is more expensive than renting what you need from a hosting provider. Leveraging a SaaS model is more cost effective than buying the application and reinvesting in a major upgrade every few years. In the end, it leaves more room for more cheese.
Now I may be taking the true meaning of that book out of context a bit, but you get the idea. The IT landscape has been changing by leaps and bounds and will continue. Will you ever have a system that just runs itself? No, I doubt it. There is always some level of support you need, at least for the business users, but in the tradition of moving things to the cloud so can that support. I guess my point here is, when the time comes, are you to find the new cheese or wait until yours runs out?