“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.”
I love this concept – “Innovation at the speed of software.”
It’s one of the premises upon which software defined networking is based – to allow network operators to make rapid changes to their networks through software / configuration change rather than rack / stack / patch. It’s also one of the reasons why SDN and NFV are creating such a buzz in the industry.
But OSS are also highly software-centric right? So you may reasonably ask why OSS projects take so long to implement?
The answer to this question has ramifications for SDN / NFV that rarely seem to be mentioned as well as ramifications for the future of OSS:
Speed of innovation is alive in OSS. It is actually quite fast to innovate within OSS – to make innovative code changes that revolutionise a product, to configure off-the-shelf products to design innovative new networks / services, to create / load data that allows a large network map to evolve almost instantaneously.
Where it all comes unstuck is in the people and process – the release management, the change management, the process mapping, the design approvals, the contract approvals, the data centre access, the cross-checking, the i-dotting, the t-crossing (is there any coincidence that this spells IT I wonder?).
- The ramification for SDN / NFV is that it might be wonderfully fast to make change in a network, but first you have to get through all the people and process…. then you also need to get through the management and orchestration frameworks before you can truly claim service agility or efficiency
- The ramification for OSS is that they tend to be so complex that the people and process parts get too easily bogged down – the confused mind says no… or simply procrastinates
SDN, NFV and OSS all need as much engineering (or more) given to the people and process side as they get on the technology side. And OSS needs to be simplified at every conceivable level so as to become a more manageable management platform.
As an example, I recently worked on a project that took 18+ months of torture on the people and process side to subsequently take less than 10 days on the technology side once all the right procedures were proceeded and approvals approved. That’s 18+ months of my life that I won’t get back and untold amounts of money that the customer won’t get back either.
That was innovation at the speed of software and process at the speed of a glacier.Read the Passionate About OSS Blog for more or Subscribe to the Passionate About OSS Blog by Email