What does IT need to start doing to become a software defined business?

I was asked to talk to do an internal, “brown-bag” style talk at a company this week. I chose to do a slightly more technical-oriented version of the talk I tend to give, commentary and pointers on moving your orginization over to relying on more and more custom written software to run your business. Here, I give a brief business context and then throw out three areas to start focusing on if you’re interested in cloud, DevOps, and all this nonsense. The recommendations are to look into contious delivery and DevOps, figure out cloud-native applications (and microservices), and then plan out your cloud platform strategy.

As ever, I’m trying to make actionable a few things that are often fuzzy. I don’t acomplish that too well – a seperate hour long talk on each topic would be better – but I at least hope to explaing the thing, say why it’s useful, and give some pointers for further study.

I put the slides up previously, but because people often ask me for the talk track, I thought I’d record a rehersal run and post it here. So, check out the video if you’re into this kind of thing.

Coté’s Book, on How to Be Coté…by Coté. Also, DockerCon & ROI – Software Defined Talk #36


After discussing which days holidays usually land on, we discuss the news out of DockerCon, along with some unicorn talk based on a recent a16z chart-fest of tech funding. Then we talk ROI. It’s riveting!

With Brandon Whichard, Matt Ray, and Coté.

SPONSOR: Take our awesome, multi-cloud PaaS for a test-ride. Get two free months of Pivotal Web Services. Whether you want to deploy on-premises, in a dedicated public cloud, or just keep using our PaaS, Pivotal Cloud Foundry has everything you need for doing cloud-native applications. Go to cote.io/pivotal for the sign-up code!

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“Rise of the infrastructure plumbers”

It’s DockerCon this week…

A16Z U.S. Technology Funding — What’s Going On?

What’s “ROI”?

  • I’ve been trying to figure this out of late.
  • Saving money on one option vs. another?
  • Creating growth?
  • Proof that you made a good choice?
  • ROI = (Gains – Cost)/Cost; e.g. ($20,000 – $10,000)/$10,000 = 100% ROI (yes, I made it a percentage, math nerds)
  • Theory: ROI is only a useful metric for comparing costs of things, and if the gain is well understood and predictable.



DevOps Success Metrics, Nationwide

From an IBM article:

Since adopting [DevOps], Nationwide has achieved a 90 percent on-time software delivery rate (up from 60 percent previously) and a 70 percent increase in users’ system availability. But what’s truly impressive is that, in concert with the increased pace of software delivery, Nationwide reduced critical defects 80 percent and high-level defects by 86 percent, which means the company is delivering higher-quality software faster. Nationwide says it can now “invest more into playing offense” to help the company drive innovation and build new offerings.

See the full-court case study as well.

Deepening the hole metaphor

“Remember that if you want to sell technology, don’t talk about technology but rather about what it achieves and delivers,” he explained. “As an analogy, when selling power drills, focus on the outcome – the scenic picture you will be able to hang on your wall that reminds you of your favorite place – not the length of the drill bits, not the hole it makes, not the picture hanger – but the feeling (outcome) you will ultimately enjoy.”

You can’t eat eight hours a day

There were many things I could do for two or three days and earn enough money to live on for the rest of the month. By temperament I’m a vagabond and a tramp. I don’t want money badly enough to work for it. In my opinion it’s a shame that there is so much work in the world. One of the saddest things is that the only thing a man can do for eight hours a day, day after day, is work. You can’t eat eight hours a day nor drink for eight hours a day nor make love for eight hours—all you can do for eight hours is work. Which is the reason why man makes himself and everybody else so miserable and unhappy.

Try to avoid killing your acquisition. Also, getting VC cash. – Lords of Computing Podcast #006


After catching up about movies and OpenStack, John and I discuss how difficult it is to properly integrate acquired companies into the larger company. We also discuss what VCs are looking for to say yes now: a good team, it seems.

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Show-notes and Links

Our love/hate relationship with whitepapers, mostly hate – Software Defined Talk #35


We discuss the evolving role of whitepapers, the spate of OpenStack startup acquisitions, Cisco Live, and cloud identity. Also, some robot recommendations.

With Brandon Whichard, Matt Ray, and Coté.

SPONSOR: Want to start figuring out cloud-native application development? Get two months free of Pivotal Web Services, and also find out more about Pivotal here: https://cote.io/pivotal.

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The Three P’s

I always like a good three p’s explanation:

We found three key elements that consistently drive innovation: people, processes and philosophies (what we call the 3Ps). We found that highly innovative organisations built their people, processes and philosophies around five fundamental “discovery skills”. Innovators ask provocative questions that challenge the status quo. They observe the world like anthropologists to detect new ways of doing things. They network with people who don’t think like them to gain radically different perspectives. They experiment to test new ideas and experiences. Finally, these behaviours trigger new associations which lead them to connect the unconnected, thereby producing disruptive ideas. An organisation’s investment in and ability to leverage these three facets of innovation sets it apart.