On flexibility

Written December 20th, 2007 by
Categories: CEO's Blog
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That’s the one word that permeates every conversation we have and influences every decision we make. 

We’re constantly guarding against making any decision that boxes us into a corner…at least at this stage of the game.  That’s true whether it’s in the design of the application, selecting our hosting partner or any other decisions with potential financial and/or time impact. 

In order to be Agile, you must be flexible.

But you have to make decisions. 

This week we decided on the hosting strategy for the first 4 months of 2008.  We’ve gotten great advice from some of our friends about the ins and out and do’s and don’ts of providing a mission critical hosted solution like ours.  We’re excited about the design of our production stack and network.  It will satisfy all of our security, performance, availability and connectivity needs when we go into production.  Thanks to the decline in infrastructure costs, and all of the open source software in our stack, we’ll be able to accomplish our goals fairly inexpensively as well!

However, we really don’t need the "cadillac" until next spring.  That’s because no customer is expected to go into production until next summer.

What we need now though is a hosted development environment that will force us to exercise the disciplines we’ll need when we do go into production.  We already have a strong change control and configuration management process.  But we want to begin practicing our Release methodology as soon as possible.  We also want to start demoing our product over the web.

So…in the spirit of flexibility, we’re going to "rent" space on an ISP’s stack until we’re ready.  Not only is it cheaper, but during the planning process it dawned on us that since we have several potential clients in Europe, they may want us to host the app from there.  If we invested in building our own rack now, here in North Carolina, it might have to move to Europe in the spring.  No sense taking that risk.  We can accomplish our business goals without making that decision now.

Flexibility in action.