Introduction

Many people and organizations are talking about evergreen in different contexts, such as:

  • Evergreen IT
  • Evergreen content
  • Evergreen strategies

Many people face the first question: what is an evergreen IT approach?

I have an evergreen approach to writing a blog post. I want to create posts that will still be relevant in the future, with only minor adjustments along the way.

In this blog post, I cover what evergreen is and how it relates to Information Technology (IT):

What does evergreen mean?

The term evergreen comes from how green leaves on a tree keep on being fresh throughout time.

What is an Evergreen IT Strategy?

The definition of Evergreen IT has applications and infrastructure which will keep on being relevant in the future. These components change as time goes by and usually use an agile approach.

Compared to a legacy one, a significant change with an evergreen IT strategy is that we generally do no longer have big bang migration products, but they are evolving continually.

From a customer point of view, you can see this as a Software as a Service (SaaS).

My evergreen IT definition

Here is my short definition:

An evergreen IT strategy is an IT strategy where the approach will still be applicable for many years.
Evergreen “stems” from the word evergreen trees, where leaves grow on the trees all year round.

The Microsoft evergreen definition

The Microsoft evergreen definition is:

“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.

What is an evergreen IT approach?

As I have discussed above, an evergreen strategy is a strategy that continues to be valid as time moves on.

With such a strategy, the focus should be on what you deliver to your end customers or users, not a specific product that may or may not change.

Products and details change over time, but an evergreen IT strategy should not.

This is also true for evergreen IT management.

Examples of evergreen IT approaches:

Here are some cases of Microsoft evergreen solutions:

  • Cloud computing (Microsoft Azure)
  • Operating Systems (Windows as a Service)

Cloud computing

Evergreen IT

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 no longer required, as this is handled back-end by the provider.

Operating systems

Examples of Operating Systems that are leveraging Evergreen IT are:

Windows

Previous operating system migration, i.e., Windows XP to Windows 7 or Windows 7 to Windows 10, was carried out as full-fledged migration projects, not Microsoft evergreen through DevOps.

With new Windows 10 and Windows 11 versions, Microsoft’s evergreen approach to Windows as a Service should be a seamless upgrade experience.

People are not used to having their Windows operating system upgraded 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.

The Windows evergreen approach should be to implement Windows as a Service in your organization.

What is not an evergreen approach?

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 do you require an evergreen process in 2022

Products are changing swiftly, and it’s hard to keep up.

Business challenges

Evergreen IT - Business challenges

Most organizations would like to keep updated with the latest Operating System versions because of feature sets and security concerns.
However, in the real world, this is not an as simple task as it first might seem.

Some examples of business challenges with implementing an evergreen strategy:

  • Application compatibility
  • Old project methods
  • Personal adaptability
  • Business-critical uptime

Agile methodology and an evergreen process

Evergrren IT - Agile

Many organizations are now implementing an evergreen IT strategy, and in most cases, it requires an agile project methodology such as SCRUM to set an evergreen process.

DevOps is also moving from a buzzword into organizations. This means that development happens within operations.

The biggest blockers for evergreen IT success

Conclusion

Creating an evergreen IT strategy and an evergreen process is becoming critical with the IT world’s increasingly fast pace.

Don’t get stuck in a corner when implementing your next strategy. As your reasoning, today will most likely not be valid tomorrow.

In short, you should have an evergreen approach in 2022!

4 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Daniel – just reading your post….and the bit “we should never see a Windows 11″….but we have. Do you consider moving from Win10 to Win11 to be an “evergreen” move or another upgrade as with saw with Win7 to Win10??? If it isn’t Evergreen – what does that say about Microsoft’s strategy – is it still relevant?

    • Hi Leanne,
      Sorry, but that sentence didn’t age well. Windows 11 is basically Windows 10 with a new UI and updates using the same feature update method. I would say the evergreen strategy is still relevant, but Microsoft has confused everyone with a new OS version.

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