Kathleen Martin

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2020
Lexington, Kentucky
The early 2000s saw the rise of the thought-provoking term “Shadow IT” to describe how application teams started deploying to their own infrastructure to avoid the perceived shortcomings of the processes and systems provided by central IT. I now see some anti-patterns applied to edge computing from that era.
The early version of cloud computing was simply the ability to get access to on-demand virtual machines hosted on someone else’s computers. Amazon was arguably first out of the gates with the commercial launch of its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) where users could create, launch and terminate VM-backed server instances for their use on the internet in a matter of minutes and pay by credit card.
At the time, many IT organizations did not grasp that virtualization in itself did not make applications more valuable to the organization, but it made operating them significantly more cost-efficient and convenient for the application teams. So IT teams kept waiting for the first proof-point application where the fact that the application was running in a VM was in and of itself valuable. This was, of course, never the point of virtualization.
At the same time, application teams started rapidly moving to the cloud (i.e., moving applications to run on programmatically provisioned and rented VMs) on externally hosted platforms. This allowed them to avoid the standard IT practices at the time that often involved multiweek delivery times and lengthy paperwork. The backsides of shortcutting IT-anchored processes included the risk of data loss or leaks, risk of inefficiencies, compliance issues and general organizational dysfunction.
While the benefits of using the type of flexible infrastructure provided by the early-stage cloud providers were evident to the application teams, there was a growing concern over issues related to operations and security. Some applications could be moved to the nascent cloud platforms without significant impact while others (e.g., file sharing, storage and collaboration tools) presented big risks to enterprises and their sensitive data.
Eventually, the IT organizations caught up with the disconnect between the services and infrastructure they offered and what application teams needed, and started shifting the focus from “building everything” to “let us show you how to build it.” Quite often, IT teams became competence centers for business practices on a best-of-breed combination of internally and externally managed infrastructure.
Continue reading: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2022/08/31/lets-get-it-right-this-time-applying-experiences-of-shadow-it-to-edge-computing/?sh=56c4501afc27


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