The challenge with this scenario is that it is in conflict with what we see as the increasingly common nature of future applications; that is, the nature of applications is changing, with more highly variable workloads, much larger scale, and more complex deployment topologies that are more difficult to manage in a manual fashion. In a phrase, there is an impedence mismatch between the future of applications and the operational assumptions of this scenario.
Scenario Two: Agile Development, Semi-Agile Operations
In this scenario, new applications are placed into production in an operations infrastructure that can support elasticity, complex topologies, and automated administration, while the existing applications continue to operate in the older, static operations environment. One might think of this as building an add-on to the existing data center environment, which operates by new rules.
In a way, this scenario is consistent with the history of computing. New computing platforms don't displace what already exists; the platforms accrete to what's in place. What commonly happens is that most new applications are deployed on the new platform, while existing platforms are limited to minor upgrades to existing applications. And, of course, over time the new platform represents the vast preponderance of the total number of applications.
This is an attractive scenario, in that it reduces overall disruption and provides a good deployment option for cloud-developed and -based applications. It avoids the challenges associated with the impedence mismatch of the previous scenario.
Two things to watch out for in this scenario:
First, the disconcerting way in which applications edge from "development" to "roduction" without an official recognition or acknowledgement. IT operations may find itself responsible for applications that it had no idea were going to move into production, requiring agile, elastic infrastructure. That is to say, IT operations may find themselves challenged to provide a production cloud environment well before planning to do so. This "premature" productization will inevitably cause problems and accelerated catch up.
Second, it's easy to underestimate the change necessary to operate an agile infrastructure. End-to-end automation carries implications well beyond installing a cloud software stack and declaring "open for cloud business." Just as it's traditional that new platforms accrete around old ones, it's also traditional for IT organizations to overemphasize technology and underrate people and process. The outcome of this situation is that the cloud application will suffer many problems when put into production as the operations group learns on the fly how to manage an automated, elastic application.
Scenario Three: Agile Development, Bypassed Operations