James Governor's Monkchips

Opinionated Infrastructure: Further Thoughts on Why The Future of Business is Reactive

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I have been thinking a lot lately about the changing relationship between businesses and the infrastructures that support them – under the term Reactive Business.

“We need to be reactive because you can’t predict the future and they will need new technical architectures to support the change, which look a lot more like Web computing. Agile, bursty, lean – that’s the future of business.”

I don’t mean businesses shouldn’t have a long term plan. Of course they should, but they also need to be more agile, more responsive to change, and more customer focused. Infrastructure is there to support customer requirements rather than other way around.

Anyway – the subtext here is my sponsor for this video series, IBM PureSystems, is building integrated hardware and software that will enable its clients to become more responsive to change. Traditionally IBM and its customers were a lot more comfortable with the status quo, but today software is eating the world and the future of business is reactive.

Oh yeah – ignore the date on the video above. Our next IBM PureChat is on December 4th. The show is a Google Hangout where we talk live about issues of the day in cloud. Below is a recent episode about Cloud Standards.


  1. Being reactive makes sense in the initial stages of projects, and indeed that’s where cloud infrastructure makes sense as you build up a pattern and idea of how things will work. But once a project is mature you can properly understand what usage and traffic is normal, then the workload becomes very predictable. I’d argue that’s the point to drop the cloud and move to dedicated infrastructure because the cost is so much lower.

    There will always be some use cases where you need the flexibility, particularly with consumer services or computationally intensive jobs but this can still be met with a hybrid cloud model.

    1. David- i take your point, but the point being made is that their isn’t a “normal”. Tens of thousands of people went on marathon breaking bad binges in the last 24 hours before the new series. is that normal? I guess that your argument would be that these spikes could be predicted, and therefore capacity planned for, but increasingly these days business is bursty, and with digital, even more so.

      is Twitter usage during an election “normal”? Of course some workloads are fairly predictable,

  2. Being Reactive is necessary to deal with the effect of moving demand onto the web. The majority of SMEs are caught flatfooted after connecting a website to their businesses.

    Dynamic clusters of apps able to intermediate themselves for reactive biz are just starting to emerge.

    Adron’s report from Oscon captured the Zeitgeist. http://compositecode.com/2013/07/30/oscon-conversations-deployments-architecture-docker-and-the-future/

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