When all you have is a hammer …

… everything look like a nail. So goes the old sore. Surprisingly, seeing this happen in the world of IT ought to be rare, but is, alas, just as common as in any other industry.

A colleague forwarded an email to me today where a vendor was promoting their “modernized” tool. As if “modernized” tools were the salvation we are all seeking to solve our modern technology challenges. Did Uber change transportation by modernizing taxis? Did Amazon transform retailing by modernizing the neighborhood shopping mall?

Worse still, this vendor touted their “modernized” tool as the starting point for DevOps transformation. Hoping that the association with the hot industry term would get market traction. Just because my San Francisco Giants’ tee shirt says “Posey 28” on the back it doesn’t make me the world’s best catcher.

Successful software vendors innovate, disrupt, and, most of all, believe in their own vision (especially when it flies in the face of orthodoxy) without wavering. Me-too vendors climb on the backs of these innovators but they can never compete because they neither have the passion nor ownership of the vision.

What the world needs, especially the DevOps world, is one where vendors take a clean sheet and build (and throw away) technologies that automate the best ideas of the moment. And build and throw away again tomorrow. This is a highly dynamic space: we’re refining and improving our methodologies constantly. Velocity, complexity and quality and changing at record rates (and the rate of change itself is changing at unheard of rates), and we need vendors who can adapt at the same speed. Repackaging the old just doesn’t cut it anymore.



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