I have just returned from a well needed mental break. I spent some time back "home" in California. It gave me a chance to recharge my batteries, to see old friends and colleagues, but it also gave me a chance to think about a post that I did back in July. It seems fitting that I come back to it given the current state of things in the economy and business in general.
I was having dinner the other night with some old colleagues and we were talking about politics, business, etc and one of the topics was innovation in IT. This got me to thinking about that old post I did back in July. The previous post, "A dinner conversation" was where I was having dinner with some local executives and we were talking about being "revolutionary" and someone had stated that making bold moves in today's business climate was not the thing to be doing right now.
I disagree. Sure, we have to be smart and weigh the risk, but just standing idly by is not the thing to be doing either. Retrenchment will surely buy you time, but it will not buy you opportunity, growth or a future. Abbie Lundberg, Editor-in-Chief, over at CIO.com had a great "From the Editor" piece this month. She mentioned that Forrester founder and CEO, George Colony had interviewed Mark Hurd and Steve Ballmer. I was very impressed to see that Mark Hurd and Steve Ballmer pushing their companies to "embrace risk". Mr Colony's advice to CIOs: "manage IT like an iceberg, with heavy standardization, reliability and lower costs beneath the waterline, but above the waterline, let it snow." Perfectly stated Mr Colony, and I'll add this; be revolutionary.
I need to repeat this part from my last post because I think it really drives home my point:
"the first step in being a revolutionary for technology is to develop a “point of view”. A well thought out and articulated point of view is the sword that will carry you into battle against the “dragons of precedent”. It becomes the rudder that lets you steer a course in a world of people being tossed about by fad and whim. And it will be your ‘true North’ that will guide you through times of tribulation and challenge. To use this sailing metaphor, ‘true North’ is the actual point around which the earth spins, whereas “magnetic North” is where the compass needle points. True North never varies, while magnetic north moves over time and shifts positions. What I’m getting at is if you maintain your Point of View and don’t bend to every whim and fad you will guide your organization and company to great success."
We all have a point of view of the technologies we work in. You can take those points of view and be that revolutionary in your company. You can help drive change. We can take Citrix technologies and other technologies and make great things happen for the business and drive that convergence of IT and business. I'll state again like I stated to my colleagues last week, revolutionaries are great for creating movements, but they don’t create mandates. You need the right person(s) in the executive suites. You need to help them see what you see, to learn what you have learned and to feel that same sense of urgency and inevitability that you feel. Talk about the ways that you can use the technologies that you have. Talk about workload mobility, how to drive simplification in your environment by automating the management of the infrastructure, talk about the energy and space efficiencies and how they play into to helping the company meet cost savings goals. Use the four guiding principles of design that I have followed for the past five years: Simplification, Standardization, Integration, and Modularity.
Don't let the difficult times we live in keep you from using the technologies like Citrix, VMWare, and other to innovate and create value.