Opinions on building platforms

Twelve Factor Enterprise

29th December, Blog #5

Twelve Factor Enterprise

The big paradigm shift for developers using Platform-as-a-Service(PaaS) is understanding “The Twelve-Factor App”; a set of patterns developed by the team at Heroku enabling applications to be orchestrated and distributed at scale. By adopting these patterns developers can take advantage of PaaS, via services such as Heroku and Cloud Foundry, reducing their operational responsibilities so they can focus on delivering value.

I’ve had a long-running debate with various members of the PaaS community about 12-Factor’s relevance to enterprises. I’ve heard many claims that enterprises don’t want to adopt these patterns, and would rather mix their state, config, and application together as a tangled ball of mud. At a board level the enterprises I’ve worked for, and interacted with, have been seeking organisational agility – the kind of fast delivery and iteration PaaS brings to software development. Somehow this message often gets lost in middle management, leading to a resistance to change and clinging to legacy practices like a safety blanket.

We need to stop telling enterprises that modern patterns, such as 12 Factor and Microservices, won’t work for them. We need to help enterprises to lower their time-to-value and increase their operational efficiency. The only winners from keeping enterprises stuck in the dark ages are the incumbent vendors, happy to continue charging extortionate prices for outdated systems and software.

Enterprises can adopt 12 Factor, Microservices, and PaaS. They want to be more agile, not less. Let’s help them.

Christmas Garage!