Many people and organizations are talking about evergreen in different contexts, such as:
- Evergreen IT
- Evergreen content
- Evergreen strategies
The first question many people face is: what is evergreen? The main topic of this blog post is to cover what evergreen IT is.
Evergreen IT definition
Microsoft’s evergreen IT definition
Microsoft defines evergreen IT as:
“Evergreen IT refers to running services comprised of components that are always up to date. Evergreen IT encompasses not only the services at the user level but all of the underlying infrastructures, whether on-site or outsourced.
My evergreen IT definition
Here is my a short definition:
An evergreen IT strategy is an IT strategy where the approach will still be applicable many years in the future.
Evergreen “stems” from the word evergreen trees where leaves grow on the trees all year round.
What is an evergreen IT strategy?
As I have discussed above, this is a strategy that will still be valid for many years.
With such a strategy, the focus should be on what you deliver to your end customers or users, and not a specific product which or may or may not change.
Products and details change over time, but an evergreen IT strategy should not.
Examples of evergreen IT strategies
Here are some cases of Evergreen IT:
- Cloud computing (Microsoft Azure)
- Operating Systems (Windows as a Service)
Cloud computing is an excellent example of Evergreen IT.
Before the cloud, you would need to manually patch your servers every time a new patch came out. Manually patching servers is not a requirement anymore, as this is handled back-end by the provider.
Examples of Operating Systems that are leveraging Evergreen IT are:
- Windows 10
According to Microsoft, Windows 10 is their last version of Windows. We should therefore not receive Windows 11.
Previous operating system migration, i.e., Windows XP to Windows 7, or Windows 7 to Windows 10, were carried out as full-fledged migration projects.
With new Windows 10 versions, and Microsoft’s evergreen approach Windows as a Service, there should be a seamless upgrade experience.
People are not used to having their Windows operating system upgrade two times a year. They are, however, used to their iPhone or Android device updating.
Many of the difficulties I see with customers adapting the Windows as a Service approach is that it is more of an education effort than a technical endeavor.
What are not evergreen IT strategies
Examples include strategies that are solely based on a product. This is especially true if the product is a fad product. A non-IT example of this is the fidget spinner.
Why you require an evergreen IT strategy in 2019
Products are changing at a swift pace, and it’s hard to keep up.
Most organizations would like to keep up to date with the latest Operating System versions, because of feature sets and security concerns.
In the real world, however, this is not a simple task as it first might seem.
Some examples of business challenges:
- Application compatibility
- Old project methods
- Personal adaptability
- Business-critical uptime
Agile methodology and DevOps
Many organizations are now implementing an evergreen IT strategy, and in most cases, it requires an agile project methodology such as SCRUM.
DevOps is also moving from a buzz word into organizations. This means that development happens within operations.
Creating evergreen strategies are getting more and more critical with the increasingly fast pace of the IT world.
Make sure you don’t get stuck in a corner when implementing your next strategy, as your reasoning today will most likely not be valid tomorrow.
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