“A while ago our world exploded. The environment and the world of towns and cities and families and communities blew apart, along with the world of ideas and information, of entertainment and communication, of politics and diplomacy, and of course the world of businesses and organisations. It’s hard to date when the explosion started, but it was after JFK’s assassination and before 9/11. Somewhere in there the modern big bang began. And it’s still banging…
So each day, you jump into the explosion. You do all you can to make sense out of the chaos and keep your organisation, your mission and your people moving forward.”
Edward M. Hallowell in his book, “Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People.”
Working in the world of OSS right now seems to me like jumping into the explosion.
There are pockets that are quiet and unaffected, but for the broader scope of this site, OSS sits right in the middle of technological seismic shifts that are occurring in adjacent (and overlapping) industries, and just like the lead-up to the big bang, are being drawn ever closer together. Just a few include:
- The momentum gains and technology evolutions in virtualised networking and software defined everything (SDx)
- The escalating threat complexity in the world of network security
- Increased sophistication of software development lifecycles and frameworks to support DevTestOps
- The evolution of business models of carrier networks, data centres and every form of service provider in between (XaaS)
- The transformation from relational databases to unstructured big data storage and processing
- Commoditisation of compute, storage and networking hardware, not to mention technical resources
- Commoditisation leading to reduction in per-unit profit margins, leading to (or being led by??) automation of everything
- The propensity for innovation around wireless sensor networks and mobility of everything
- The touchpoint explosion (of devices and sensors) leading to data collection and processing volumes that overwhelm human operators to the point where machine learning and predictive analytic techniques are essential supplementary tools
- The aggregation of immense talent pools through the concepts of open-sourcing, crowd-funding, crowd-sourcing and swarm engineering
- The dramatic flip of (almost) everything in the world of ICT now being in a state of over-supply rather than scarcity
Monitoring and management software like OSS tools are the glue that have the potential to bind them all together, or rip them apart because the exponentially increasing complexity has the potential to make OSS unworkable and the related industries unable to operationalise.
As much as I research across all of these subject areas (and more), the more I realise that it’s impossible to remain in touch with the details of everything that’s happening. Even within network virtualisation, there are so many different variants of OSS-style management tools and standards, it’s a challenge to stay in touch with all of the evolutions.
So each day I jump into the explosion, excited by what the future may hold for OSS and how each day’s discoveries might help to deliver better outcomes for any organisation that uses communications technologies. Make no mistake, these discoveries are only a means to an end, but they have the potential to have a massive influence on what those ends might be.
What mechanisms do you use to remain in touch with everything that’s happening in our industry?