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The battle for the DevOps space

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In this age of pervasive Cloud and persistent disruption, it's a given that the quick will devour the slow. That's why today's business and tech editorials and blog output are littered with speed-aligned words such as agile, responsive, nimble, and strong change hints like enablement and transformation. The emergent 'utility' nature of compute resources and IT services - plug and pay - has certainly helped foster this overarching spirit of innovation, a spirit mirrored in - perhaps even encouraged by - the flowering of the DevOps culture and increasing adoption of Open Source technologies into the mainstream. There's a freedom in play now, a freedom, expression and expansiveness that seems a long way from the vendor oligarchy and client server constraints of the late 90s.

So news of vendors leveraging their heavyweight status - through licensing price rises in certain areas, product price incentives in others - to manoeuvre customers down a route that they may not wish to travel, that would appear not to be in keeping with today's spirit of choice, openness and creativity. 'Encouragement' - be it strategically or commercially driven - of people down a narrower, necessarily more restrictive road doesn't appear to be particularly logical - or attuned to market sentiment. And the risk is that people may simply not accept it. Why? Because people don't want to be contained or constrained - and more importantly, there are workable, compelling, proven alternatives available.

The DevOps and Open Source movements offer real choice and flexibility when it comes to software, operating systems and applications, and the Cloud remains liberal enough to support this type of independent thinking. We are working with clients every day on Cloud-based projects characterised by this freeform approach, projects notable for both their innovation and integrity, and which underscore the drive for enablement that vendors should welcome and support – not seek to derail. The message is pretty clear: if you want to do things your way, you can. Vendors would do well to remember that.

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