The IT Renaissance

A while ago I used the phrase "the IT Renaissance" to capture the sea change I felt in our industry. But the idea has languished buried in another post, so I felt it is time to bring it forward as a blog post of its own. We are going through an IT Renaissance, the like of which we have never seen before in our industry.

All of the following phenomena are interesting in their own right, but even more interesting if you see them as surface manifestations of something deeper and more fundamental, a single shift in the way the world thinks about IT:

    ...and Anti-fragile
    ...and of course The Phoenix Project
    Shadow IT
    Dark IT
    The Quantum Age of IT
    Social media
    Independent user forums
    The insolent millennials
    Calls for Slow Business and Slow IT - take it easier on people
    My Standard+Case approach which is part of...
    The empowerment of the knowledge worker
    Servant leader
    Transformational leadership
    The increasing emphasis on cultural change
    Gene Kim's "humane IT"
    Shedding IT cynicism - Agile niceness and integrity

I originally called this the IT Liberation Movement because that seemed a catchy name. It is not a movement yet in the sense that those pieces are only just beginning to link up, there isn't a conscious confederation of all the groups. It is a movement in the sense of a tectonic shift, a gradual change in the way we think.

At the DOES15 conference, George Spafford finally nailed the name of this for me: an IT Renaissance.

Look at how Wikipedia describes the European Renaissance

    The Renaissance is a period considered the bridge between the Middle Ages and modern history. It started as a cultural movement. The intellectual basis was humanism, that "Man is the measure of all things".

IT has finally grasped that we are a people industry, that nothing is achieved without behavioural change, that culture eats strategy, that we must restore humanity to our work.

    It encompassed an innovative flowering of literatures, beginning with the resurgence of learning based on classical sources; the development of techniques of rendering a more natural reality; and gradual but widespread educational reform.

Innovative literature: The Phoenix Project.
Classical sources: Goldratt, Deming, Reinertsen...
More natural reality: challenge levels of ceremony, challenge theatre, stop pretending and start working realistically: this is Agile.
Gradual educational reform: Hmmm....

    It contributed to an increased reliance on observation and inductive reasoning… as well as social and political upheaval

Agile and DevOps are data driven: observe and learn; experiment; embrace failure; feedback and learning.
The upheaval is obvious.

The Renaissance meant...

  • New ideas
  • A new culture
  • New way of thinking
  • A new beginning

The IT Renaissance brings us ...

New IT ideas

  • Complex systems
  • Managing complexity
  • Anti-fragile
  • BYOD
  • Cloud
  • Shadow IT
  • Agile,
  • Lean IT, ToC
  • DevOps
  • The Simian Army
  • Agile service management

A new IT culture

  • He Tangata: it is the people
  • Empowerment
  • Servant leader
  • Situational field command
  • Honour the professional
  • People over process
  • Respect and faith
  • Loss of cynicism
  • Humane IT
  • Teamwork and sharing

A new way of doing IT

  • Aggregation, SIAM
  • Customer IT
  • Virtualisation, cloud
  • ...aaS
  • SOA, microservices
  • Infrastructure as code
  • Automation
  • Continuous Testing
  • Continuous Integration
  • Continuous Delivery
  • Toolsmiths

A new beginning

  • Rediscovering the classics: Deming, Goldratt, Snowden…
  • Starting anew, building on the old
  • New language, new mindset
  • Challenging, creative destruction
  • Positivity
  • Breaking the logjam

The world needs optimism right now. Likewise IT needs new hope, and Agile/DevOps brings it in this staggering shift in IT, the IT Renaissance.

Syndicate content