December 15, 2017

Relevance in the Cloud Revolution

We not even finished with the 3rd Industrial Revolution, and already leading people are claiming we are now in the 4th Industrial Revolution

The Fourth Industrial Revolution builds on the Digital Revolution, representing new ways in which technology becomes embedded within societies and even the human body.[8] The Fourth Industrial Revolution is marked by emerging technology breakthroughs in a number of fields, including robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, The Internet of Things, 3D printing and autonomous vehicles.

In his book, The Fourth Industrial Revolution, professor Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, describes how this fourth revolution is fundamentally different from the previous three, which were characterized mainly by advances in technology. These technologies have great potential to continue to connect billions of more people to the web, drastically improve the efficiency of business and organizations and help regenerate the natural environment through better asset management.

This touches on a theme of Relevance in the ever changing IT age, that I wrote about here and again here regarding Big Data.

Cloud has been here for a while, and is just getting better. By cloud, I dont refer to just 'someone else's hardrive', but that rather true Cloud, where apps are prebuilt in the cloud, that auto-scales, auto-heals, and you dont have to worry about all that Operations stuff I wrote about earlier
You only worry care about your code - Cloud takes care of everything else.

Cloud has been an evolution:

  1. Bare Metal: We started out with building our own infrastructure - servers, OS, storage, networking. You then installed the OS, DB and applications, and had to maintain that.
  2. Virtualised: We then started to virtualise that, but you still had to build your own infrastrcuture of servers, hypervisors, storage and networking, before you get to running your OS in a VM. And you had to keep maintain, upgrade and support that stack, together with the OS, DB and app.
  3. Converged: We then decided to buy pre-built Converged Infrastructure (vBlocks, Flexpods) that was the same stack as above, but pre-built in factory, which saved you a good few months of building it yourself, but then you still had to maintain and support it.
  4. Initial Cloud: Perhaps then you decided to go a Cloud platform (GCP, Azure, AWS, IBM Bluemix), and create a VM there. This is not yet true cloud - you might not have to maintain the hardware stack, but you still need to maintain the stack above it: OS, DB, and application
  5. True Cloud: you go to a Cloud Platform, and just give them you code to run, using Cloud Functions, and you select a DB (SQl, NoSQL, Hadoop). Done. Thats it. You make sure you code runs, and Cloudl will make sure it scales it by spinning up more capacity when needed, syncing the DBs, and taking care of HA/DR. You dont even need to see the OS

[This article paints a scary picture of what happens when we dont adept to this cloud revolution], and we dont stay relvant: (

In what should be a comfortably advancing career, the over-40 group faces a hard choice – learn new skills or face early retirement – or worse, be consigned to performing IT grunt work for the latest hot-shot hire who is 20 years their junior.

This means jobs are going thorugh major changes:


These posts on Full Stack and how to go about about Learning and Knowledge talk about how to remain relevant.