Luckily I have an occasional pulpit in the shape of The Guardian, where I can turn some of my thoughts into slices of technology punditry.
Here are two recent pieces which, despite different sets of foundations and directions, are closely related: the first looking at trends in architecture strategy and the second examining the effects of virtualisation technologies on IT infrastructures.
From the first:There's lot to think about here - and expect me to return to theme again and again this year.
Using application strategy planning to set out an IT roadmap will change how IT staff work with the rest of the business. Architects will need to have more of an understanding of how the business works, while business requirements will need to take into account the IT resources available. Both sides must have as much information as possible, because incorrect assumptions on the available resources, or on the direction of business plans, could lead to architectures that fail to deliver the applications and services the business needs, when it needs them.
Managing IT development is a complex task, and one that is often made more complex by a lack of communication and information. A service-based approach to IT delivery will require much more of a link between IT strategy and business strategy. Delivering the application strategy vision requires tools to help make decisions and record the available resources and infrastructure.
From the second:
There is a conflict facing IT departments today. Consolidation programmes and new application development philosophies have given them the tools to deliver flexible service-based platforms that are ready to support changing business processes and meet the demands of the market. Meanwhile, compliance regimes have led to a demand for fixed processes that can be easily controlled. It is difficult for IT to do both at the same time.
Virtualisation could come to the rescue. The trend to increased virtualisation of applications and storage will help IT departments to deliver flexible services and on-demand computing resources, while at the same time giving compliance teams the tools they need to effectively manage business information. Resources can be assigned to deal with changes in the business environment, while compliance rules can be written in to the storage fabric.