Things on the edge
Thoughts on technology and business
Previously published October, 21 2015
The adoption of technology moves in cycles and every decade or so, we look back and easily see what has had the biggest impact. It is more problematic to look forward and predict, with any reliability, the technologies which are on the edge of a revolution. However, it's not impossible. The first step is to understand the business environment you are in. This is critically important because, at the end of the day, it is technology that serves business, not the other way around. The second step is to look for technologies that can be combined into a self-reinforcing system which is highly adaptable and open.
Part 2 - A culture of innovation
Previously published July, 22 2015
See Part 1
The culture of the organization determines how the Shadow IT evolves and whether or not it is a problem. If the culture has a more centralized structure but also supports innovation, autonomy, and is customer focused, Shadow IT becomes a Skunkworks that can be managed through governance, openness, and creating ways for teams to share their insights and experiences. This can take many flavors and has become the cornerstone of many companies. The most famous examples are Amazon and Netflix, who have adopted the policy of “If you build it, you run it”. Teams are given wide latitude to innovate and the results speak for themselves.
Previously published July, 20 2015
Part 1 - Command and Control
Most of my professional career has been in spent in Business Intelligence, Master Data Management, and Operational Reporting in heterogeneous IT environments. Of all the IT domains, these areas are driven by two things: data integration and change. Unfortunately, these two issues are also the largest and toughest problems facing an IT organization.
The typical response is to try and centralize these services and enforcing controls to impose such things as canonical data structures, limiting the scope of data, and reducing the number of data providers. This is done to control the rate of change in the environment and to improve visibility. We all know this doesn’t work as effectively as we thought it would when we started. In fact, these controls end up creating critical problems.