Let Automation Increase Innovation While Reducing Risk (RSA 2016)

Guest blog by David Spark, Spark Media Solutions

“Agile IT is about getting things done quickly,” said Johna Till Johnson (@johnatilljohnso), CEO and founder, Nemertes Research in our conversation at the 2016 RSA Conference in San Francisco.

The practice of taking months and years to preplan a deployment are over. It’s simply not possible to stay in business when your competitors are putting products out to market and iterating.

“Instead of spending hours and years figuring out what the requirements are, you just figure out what you think is going to happen, get it out there and see if it meets the requirements because the assumption now is the requirements are changing so quickly that you don’t necessarily know what they are so those years of defining them is actually a waste,” said Till Johnson. “Let’s figure out what it needs to be based on being out there and getting the response.”

Fast failure and hypothesis driven development are critical components of agile IT, although it’s psychologically in conflict with keeping your area secure and reliable, admitted Till Johnson, but “security does not need to be opposed to agile IT… Technologies like security automation help you innovate quickly without increasing the risk.”

Cloud is one area that’s enabling this new paradigm.

I asked Till Johnson about how businesses were migrating to the cloud. I assumed that companies were slowly moving different workloads to the cloud. In actuality, from what she saw, that wasn’t the case. Instead, companies are engaging in a practice called ‘strangulation’ as they move to the cloud. They build cloud applications in parallel to existing on-premise applications. Over time usage trends away from the in-house application to the cloud application until the on-premise application is ultimately shut down.

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