Beginning of the Year Blues: When the IT Hype Dies Down

Hype Today Gone TomorrowWhile 2012 was a year full of IT hype, 2013 has started off a bit flat.  Of course, how could we top a year where we saw the rise of OpenStack, CloudStack, and Eucalyptus?  A year where we saw SDN and Big Data dominate the industry magazines, blogs, and general tech news. A year where we saw Amazon dominate the public cloud headlines, for good and bad reasons.  A year where we saw Rackspace, Microsoft, and Google begin their cloud assault on the market.  It was a year full of Big IPOs, questionable valuations, and patent lawsuits galore threatening innovation at its very core.  And who could forget the end-of-the-year pricing skirmish between Amazon and Google?

The beginning of the year blues feels like when you exit a fantastic restaurant or end a great vacation.  On one hand you are completely satisfied, on the other hand you wonder if you will ever be able to recreate the magic.  While 2013 holds great promise; the reality is the technology hype of the past must now prove tangible and measurable business value.  To put it another way, its time for IT to get to work, implement new technologies, and provide their businesses with the right mix of innovation, security, and availability to generate revenue while smashing the competition.

Fortunately, I have the pleasure of meeting with customers of all sizes ranging from your typical mom-and-pop to the Fortune 500.  I have seen first hand how these IT professionals and business leaders are determined to streamline operations, improve agility, and provide for their internal and external customers.  The unsung heroes of this industry are the architects, developers, administrators, and operations personnel who turn complex technology into business value.

Now is a great time to take a breath and dig into interesting technologies such as Hadoop, Ceph, GlusterFS, OpenStack/CloudStack, OpenFlow, SDN, DevOps, Puppet or Chef, and more.  Take a look at Vagrant, Orion, or Cloud9.  Invest some time in understanding Amazon’s Cloud Offerings and how they compare to Rackspace, Google, and Microsoft.  Learn a new language such as Python, Ruby, or Go.  Finally, get involved in some open source or simply open projects where you can contribute and learn within a community.

Remember that while the IT hype has died down for now, it won’t last for long.  There are innovative and disruptive technology being offered by open source, commercial open source, and established software companies. Use the blues to your advantage and get ready for the hype to return with vengeance.

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