MegaTrends Means What Exactly?
December 01, 2010

Dennis Drogseth

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I thought it might be nice to set the stage for what I mean by “MegaTrend” and more importantly, what this blog might be about.

Just to be clear, I didn’t originally pick the term. I pretty much woke up one morning and found it in my title, thought for a moment, and decided that it was more of a good thing than not.

Hopefully this blog will profit from the open-endedness of the term.

Just for starters let’s look at the three most immediately affiliated terms or acronyms: Business Service Management (BSM), automation and CMDB/CMS.

These are three areas where management software is beginning to deconstruct and then reconstruct around what I would call a “next-generation design point.” Way back in the spring of 2004, EMA published a white paper on “next generation architecture” in which we proposed that the future of IT management tools would evolve beyond siloed, pre-packaged collection systems towards a more federated set of multi-brand, reconciled resources. In this vision data access would not be product defined, but use-case defined, so that a federated set of databases could become a “superhighway” for superior analytic engines. And for that matter, for more effective forms of automation.

Back then we called this a “poor man’s supercomputer” and we projected something on the order of thirty years of evolution to get there. Roughly the equivalent of the entire Mesozoic Era in high tech time.

Then, in 2005, the idea of a CMDB came in to marquis attention and it looked amazingly like the first big step forward in this direction. After some research and consulting, and a lot of frustration after initial inflated expectations – we decided in fact, that it was!

Since then, the industry has begun to move towards federation and with it a service modeling system that can trigger events for diagnostics, or automation including change and configuration/release management, and operate on both a macro and a micro level.

And this modeling system – kind of a MegaTrend in itself — is gradually becoming both the heart of BSM, as well as more advanced forms of automation—especially automation linked to cross domain versus niche or procedural requirements.

So with all this we may have shortened our 30-year expectations by at least five or ten… though still a long way to go.

But what about other MegaTrends you may ask?

Cloud computing (however you like to define it) comes to mind – and yes I’ll be writing about that – albeit in the context of larger, service management initiatives.

And then- near and dear to my heart, are all the role-related and political changes going on within IT and between IT and its growing set of interdependencies with partners and service providers. It’s easy for people to get excited, for instance, about all the fluidity of cloud drawing resources from many multiple places (e.g. cloud providers) on an as-needs basis. But how does this really work in terms of ownership, accountability, visibility and cohesiveness when a single business service is dependent on multiple enclaves of self-protecting lawyers?

So in the end (gasp!) this blog is also about politics, processes, roles and identity.

So I guess the sky’s the limit.

This blog is a chance to stand outside the normal course of discourse and look back in.

And it’s not supposed to be just about my opinions—I welcome hearing more from you—what you think are MegaTrends in IT management, and why!

Related Links:

More Dennis Drogseth Blogs at the EMA website

Dennis Drogseth is VP at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA)
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