ICT becomes as easy as baking cookies

By Frank van Vonderen

During the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of people became bakers. Many of us, as amateur cooks during the holidays, venture into challenging creations. Often with success: with good ingredients and with a handy oven, we come a long way!

But if you compare it to cookie baking, ICT is actually quite inconvenient. Because go figure with your own computer at home. All you wanted was a more efficient typewriter and suddenly you had to remember all kinds of difficult codes if you wanted to print in WordPerfect. You wanted to get on the Internet and had to learn about antivirus and anti spam. You wanted to play games, but had to learn to install sound cards and upgrade hard drives. Common thread: you want the joys of ICT, but they only come with burdens. When you look at it that way, it's actually quite strange

Cloud Technology Simplifies ICT like a Recipe for Cookies

When you look to the future, perhaps the most important change comes from a different angle than you might think. In the delusion of everyday life, we only see the trendy terms: digitization, artificial intelligence, blockchain, et cetera. But there is another change going on that makes ICT as easy as baking cookies. What? Cloud technology that takes all the complexity away from you. No more worries about the platform, infrastructure and software, but convenience. In the process, you choose the recipe and your favorite ingredients, and you no longer have to worry about the brand and/or installation description of the oven.

Those who delve into "Cloud Foundry" probably recognize themselves in this metaphor: with Cloud Foundry, you can bake carefree. From now on, you can simply bake the cookies according to the recipe you like best. The way you want it. While underlying you use a cloud-provided 'oven' (e.g. AWS, Google, Azure or private cloud in your own data center) and cloud-provided ingredients (easy-to-use services like a databases, file storage, single sign on service or SaaS services like Office 365 or Salesforce and ERP SaaS). All of this connected through Cloud Foundry.

Your developers (the bakers) only have to deal with what they are good at: selecting the right ingredients (the best services and the appropriate development language) and producing (baking) good code.

What are the advantages of this way of working:

  • You can develop faster - you can try out new recipes quickly, the ingredients and ovens are easily interchangeable and can be found in the cloud (your unlimited pantry).
  • You can phase out legacy - step by step you can phase out the complexity of legacy and transition to a more flexible platform.
  • Feasible for small and large organizations - you can focus on what you are good at (your recipe). You leave the other knowledge (about the ingredients and the oven) to others if you don't know or don't want to know about it.

What are the (possible) disadvantages? You are going to work differently. The knowledge to manage platforms, infrastructure and generic software is needed less and less. In contrast, the knowledge to know the right components and suppliers becomes more important again. So the ICT organization requires different qualifications and competencies. Technology is not the limitation. Perhaps the biggest challenge is: can you turn existing ICT people into good bakers.

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