As it’s been around for many years, we now know that open infrastructure is a combination of open-source products to build open cloud infrastructure with. This cloud infrastructure consists of many components. OpenStack, OpenShift, OKD, Kubernetes and Ceph are a few to mention and some of the IT people got to know it when it just came around. As open infrastructure is ubiquitous in IT nowadays, millennials that are just diving into the IT-world, often haven’t experienced how it was without open infrastructure around. Much in the same way as Gen Z will never know, how life was like without smartphones, tablets and laptops. On the contrary, a lot of study directions and courses are centred around proprietary infrastructure. With the result that a huge group of millennials with interest in IT have never even worked with open infrastructure. In my opinion they are missing out on the efficiency of open infrastructure and the community is missing out on the talents that these groups could provide for the further enhancement of open infrastructures.
So, I wondered: What are millennials thoughts on open infrastructure?
When I asked a millennial (aged 25) working in the open source cloud industry what he thinks of open infrastructure he replied in that he thinks, it is here, and it is here to stay. He went on stating that when you look at worldwide developments you see more and more companies who want to switch from proprietary solutions to open infrastructure so, they know what is written in the code and also to prevent vendor lock-ins. So, to say, organizations such as governments, research institutions and universities don’t want to depend on other organizations when it comes to their data. They want to have data sovereignty.
When I asked how it is like, working in the open source cloud industry, he stated that most of all it is challenging, exciting and educational, for there is always something new to learn about it. It’s like the open source infrastructure is never finished. It keeps on developing to improve and enhance efficiency. He loves being able to contribute to open source software, being able to be part of that community.
His views are supported by a recent IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) report on millennials and technology. One comment on this stands out in thiw research: ‘’The millennial generation is the first to come of age during the information era. Raised alongside the first search engine, influenced by social media and constantly connected to their smartphones, millennials have grown up with a unique set of experiences. Empowered by information and emboldened by their social impact, they are poised to transform the way consumers throughout the world evaluate, purchase and consume goods and services.’’
Additional support comes from yet another study, the Microsoft and Wakefield Research surveyed 2546 respondents (IT professionals) in 2017. They found that millennials in IT fit the following criteria:
First of all, they want their organizations to adopt open cloud infrastructure faster and use it even for the most essential business applications, even if it requires them to develop new skills. 69 percent of millennial IT professionals believe their organization has apps or services that are not currently on open cloud infrastructure but should be.
Secondly, they are focused on delivering innovation and also believe that current IT policies need to adjust to better enable that innovation. 88 percent of millennials say their organization’s policy and procedures don’t allow them to be as creative as they could be at work.
Thirdly, they recognize that connecting public cloud services to their private cloud to create hybrid solutions will remain important for years to come. 97 percent of millennials say connecting their public cloud solutions to their data centre will still be important in five years.
I am convinced that open infrastructure is just at the beginning of its life cycle because of the way it just keeps on developing. We constantly see innovations, from virtualization to containerization. All in all, the statements mentioned above, by millennials do sound very beneficial for companies. My conclusion is that millennials love open infrastructure because it enables them to be creative and innovative. At Fairbanks and 42on we invest in educating millennials in open infrastructure technology because, how we see it it’s the future.
Are you a millennial and agree or disagree with me? Let me know in the comments (even if you’re not a millennial).