Today's fast moving innovative micro-enterprises are virtualizing traditional business administrative and operational services in favor of cloud based services. On the pro-side, you can create a new business with a small team and have first class administrative services. You can select the best system as service (SAS) offerings for your type of enterprise, and the networked demand for more varied and effective services is the driver of innovation and opportunity thyat allow for such micro-enterprises to thrive.
On the downside are new kinds of risk. You now depend on a whole network of service providers and systemic risk. Ultimately you may have services running on two, three or more of the major cloud providers and parts of your infrastructure will be vulnerable to their systemic outages. Recent history tells us the risks are real, and that studying history doesn't fully prepare you for future risks. In spite of these downsides, the fact is that moving from having a pile of Windows and Linux servers in a closet to the cloud is like comparing driving vs. being a passenger with a major airline. The aggregated risks mean bigger accidents, but way lower average risks. Big accidents are very rare, but when they occur the damage is much more widespread.
What we want and need is a devops oriented commons where the marketplaces for cloud-based systems and business services can thrive. The commons itself will be implemented as a nonprofit pass-through corporation whose operations are stewarded by members of the commons. In the commons space, we will architect and build the tools we need. We will participarte in the existing networks of devops tool developers and SAS and cloud service vendors to build and share the core systems tools that everyone will use. We will collectively establish the rules and customs of transparency between networked providers such that risks can be evaluated collaboratively and across enterprise boundaries.
How would such an organization form and establish a commons, and what would make it important? Both service providers and consumers have to create more value by agreeing to the rules of the commons, and they have to be able to differentiate themselves from free riders who might seek to plunder the commons for private gain at the expense of the commonwealth. Frankly, a devops commons will be well equipped to defend itself from free riders because of the highly coded technical nature of the necessary networked relationships that constitutes its operations. They understand the nature of systemic risks and how to replace centrallized assets that are vulnerable with distributed ones.