It’s often said that technology changes fast. Do a simple Internet search, and each week there appears a new framework, tool, or vendor promising the next big thing. Industry observers could be forgiven for mistaking the technology industry for fashion producers. But unlike physically-based industries, software can be distributed instantly at zero marginal cost – accelerating this proliferation of products and, in turn, overwhelming IT departments who struggle to keep control of their software and data.
The value of staying-power
Fortunately, there’s a silver lining: new developments aren’t all created equal. The most valuable innovations have staying-power: they persist and deliver value to people and organizations for decades after their introduction. This is true despite our industry’s ability to distribute new software at the speed of thought.
Take modern web browsers as a familiar example. Browsers, gaining popularity in the late 90’s, remain even today the standard way to deliver information to people. The user experience of following hyperlinks and jumping from page to page endures, streaming entirely fresh experiences to people with ease-of-use as a design principle. Nearly 25 years old, the web browser remains fundamental to how users navigate information.
The true cost of contemporary IT
Fast forward to 2020. Large companies and their IT departments are grappling with modernization. Especially with managing multiple clouds and the allocation of machine resources. Years of growth and technical innovation made changes and migration tremendously difficult.
The complex software found in enterprise environments has struggled to find its equivalent of the modern web browser. For more than two decades, the industry experimented with different ways to hide complexity and lessen the burden of infrastructure management. This operational burden – the true total cost of IT – can translate to tens of millions of dollars in operational cost for the large teams of developers and operators who must manage it all.
Deliver to users what they care about
The browser emerged as the winning, long-term model because of one reason: it delivered a greater user experience while abstracting away the complexities of underlying infrastructure. This unassuming piece of open-source software enables an entirely new experience to users, who don’t even have to be aware of software installations, updates, or security patches. The key is to deliver to users what they care about (their content) while hiding the operational complexity that makes content delivery possible. 20 years later, this paradigm is exactly what’s needed for the challenges faced by enterprise IT.
Manage applications seamlessly across platforms
Finally, Google Anthos provides a solution that focuses on the operator user experience in the enterprise. It is based on the container orchestration tool Kubernetes Google launched in 2015. Anthos offers companies one consistent platform for all application deployments, both legacy as well as cloud native systems. Security settings are defined centrally and applied to all applications.
The open runtime Anthos powers abstracts away low-level infrastructure across public cloud platforms and on-prem infrastructure. It helps teams manage applications seamlessly across all the places companies need to run – providing uniform management and observability across clouds.
Staying-power born of experience
The most impactful solutions have staying power measured in decades. The underlying container and Kubernetes technology powering Anthos is born of Google’s experience managing containers and software services at scale – services like Search, Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and G Suite.
This open technology is the new standard for infrastructure that spans all the places enterprises need computing. It’s the ideal foundation for companies to build on top of, future-proofing their investment in both technology and talent. Like great innovations that came before it, it’s here to stay.