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Also posted on: The Norfolk Punt
I am quite enthusiastic about the Serverless Architecture option – partly because it sounds just like Cloud computing always promised it’d be like; and partly because if mainstream IT doesn’t take the concept seriously, it is a powerful tool for Shadow IT to build something akin to the late 20th century “spreadsheet hell“. Mainstream IT needs to embrace and manage Serverless Architectures (with a fairly light touch) while it still can.
I was reminded of this when Bloor’s Research Director for IT Infrastructure, Paul Bevan, tweeted about “zombie servers”, which prompted me to find an Adobe blog which apparently claims that your business won’t use a server in 5 years’ time. In broad terms, this is probably about right – a lot of today’s servers are expensively idle much of the time (“zombie servers“). But, in 5 years’ time, I bet big banks are still running on big-iron mainframes even after “everyone” has gone Serverless – Serverless is a powerful technology option, when it is appropriate, but it is not always appropriate and it does need management.
So, I bet your business does use servers in 5 years time, but it’ll just be using them more effectively – and it’ll probably use fewer of them…
I remember “spreadsheet hell” back in the 1990’s – and the look of horror which went over our spreadsheet guru’s face (this was the guy who kept telling me that spreadsheets were going to replace all of our IT systems), when I pointed out that his favourite product, being used on mission critical banking systems had a serious reported bug, around doing maths correctly, and that he’d better find everywhere it was being used and get it fixed and make sure no-one was using the old version…
IT is good at reinventing wheels; and sometimes it reinvents square wheels. “Re-inventing the wheel” is almost IT “good practice” as long as you change the name to obfuscate the reinvention – but let’s not recreate “serverless hell” in homage to “spreadsheet hell… It’s not just a development issue, but also a governance issue.