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Why thinking like a designer is key for cloud applications

HeatherMackey ‎05-10-2012 12:44 PM - edited ‎05-10-2012 12:58 PM

An interesting concept came up during today’s #convcloud Twitter chat (Thursdays at 1 pm Eastern, if you’re interested in joining): “flat-packing IT.”


If you Google “flat pack” you’ll find a lot of results centered around ready-to-assemble furniture. As one site put it, “Flat pack is really a philosophy of manufacture and delivery that does not compromise the resulting product.”


What does this mean for IT? As HP Software VP and evangelist Paul Muller (on Twitter as @xthestreams) tweeted “the problem with current app delivery is that each build is treated as a bespoke thing.” Instead, Muller tweeted, “think like a designer.”


As enterprises grapple with how to move applications to the cloud, being able to think like a designer or, as Christian Verstraete (on Twitter as @christianve puts it) “design for assembly,” becomes an increasingly important skill. As Muller tweeted, “Every CIO needs to read up on design for manufacture/build. Only way to SCALE.”


So … how do you go from an artisanal approach to IT to something more like IKEA? Muller is working on a white paper on this very topic. “Step one,” he advises, “is you've got to change the way you think about design – it's really about SOA.”


Creating a model or template for your applications is the first step that HP Chief Security Evangelist Rafal Los (on Twitter as @Wh1t3Rabbit) outlines in the latest This Week in the Cloud video, which asks, “how do you manage and secure cloud apps across their application lifecycle?”


The answers fit in with a “flat-packing” approach:


1.Create a model (in other words, a template-driven approach)

2. Automate

3. Make it portable

4. Monitor it with real-time risk and performance indicators


Check out the video here. And let me know in comments if the “flat-packing” idea resonates with you.



Related links:


About the Author


I'm the community manager for Discover Performance and have been a writer/editor in the technology field for several years.

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