Deploying PaaS in a Bank
I’ve worked as an Ammeon Solutions Red Hat consultant for the past three years on various customer sites. I started as an Openshift Consultant deploying 3.4. Now we are deploying 3.10. and looking forward to getting to grips with 4.2. Along this journey, I metamorphosed into a Consultant Engineer as I began to understand the implications of deploying PaaS in a complex organization such as a bank or financial institution. Gaining new perspectives and a broader appreciation for how people use technology and integrate systems, as well as, how technology can radically change processes and disrupt established culture in an organization.
Recently at the Red Hat EMEA Partner Conference, I described what I’ve learned over the past three years about consulting, systems engineering, PaaS and the financial sector. In my talk, I described how the financial sector is leveraging RedHat technology and explored a number of concepts about people, processes and technology, and the dynamics between them in the context of complex organizations. Changing these dynamics with technology is contemporarily called “Digital Transformation”.
Regardless of the impetus for cultural change, the theory, practices and desire to do it aren’t new. The struggle to understand how to change a culture goes back a long time. The most complete text I have found on the subject by March  was first published in 1965. The literature survey in  was an effort to establish the state of organization theory and research in the 1960s. In my experience, the digital transformation movement of late has been leveraging lean and agile methodologies and pragmatic approaches to changing organizations rather than scientific study.
Organizational theory emphasizes experimentation and empirical analysis and draws on scientific fields including sociology, anthropology, psychology, economics and political science, to establish itself. This is great when you have many organizations to analyse and compare. It can be a top down tool for developing long term strategies and for building a holistic view of digital transformation. In contrast, lean thinking  and agile methods are per organization, pragmatic, bottom up approaches to eliminating waste from processes. These heuristics are known to work and are process focused. Their application is tactical and depends on convincing people to adopt them.
Participating in the conference required signing a non-disclosure agreement. For this reason I cannot provide the slide deck for this presentation. The premise of my presentation was that it would be useful for consultants to have a handy set of heuristics that are more specific to deploying PaaS in a financial institution.
I will use this blog series to provide a deeper exploration of the concepts from my presentation and investigate the middle ground between organizational theory and agile practices. Can we take the best from both to improve the delivery of digital transformation.
Modern IT Organizations
People, Processes and Technology. A simple abstract model for reasoning about modern IT organisations.
Much of consulting and digital transformation initiatives seem to trial and error with some systematic approaches that leverage applied group dynamics. Is it possible to improve on the current state through empirical analysis and what would that look like?
The 4 Types of Work
How do contemporary concepts in DevOps  stack up alongside Organization Theory.
A retrospective on delivery and how organization theory could complement agile practices in digital transformation.
James E. March (Editor), Handbook of Organizations, 1965
James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones, Lean Thinking, 1996
Gene Kim, Jez Humble, Patrick Debois, and John Willis, The DevOps Handbook; How to Create World-Class Agility, Reliability, and Security in Technology Organizations, 2016
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR BRIAN’S NEXT BLOG ON MODERN IT ORGANIZATIONS