Paul Lewis

Do not lean against the doors….Prohibido apoyarse contra las puertas

Blog Post created by Paul Lewis on Sep 4, 2013

If I won the lottery, I would move my entire family to DisneyWorld, permanently.  My plan is simple: give away and sell  all my worldly possessions, from my socks to my house, and recreate a new life in the happiest place on earth.

 

I would prepay for decades of a complete vacation package in a Magic Kingdom view resort room, with a  connected room for the kids.  For transportation, WDW provide busses, boats, and monorails to any location, all included.  For food, the included deluxe dining plan offers me three meals and two snacks per day in hundreds of locations in the 40+ square mile district.  I think the entertainment is obvious, however I would likely get the platinum package with park hopper and waterparks to maximize the number options in any one day.  For clothing…well…onsite merchandising is unprecedented. 

 

I look forward to the closed system, one that centers on my interest and happiness.  Once I arrive, I will never need to leave.  Friends and family are free to come and visit (as long as they get their own room).

 

The key of this plan is having  1) the courage to completely reinvent how I live my life; 2) appreciating that my attention needs to be moved from my possessions, to my family’s happiness needs; and 3) redefining  and repackaging what’s important to control (and randomly winning hundreds of millions of dollars…but I’m ignoring that little problem). 

 

It would be great if I could stop my thought there and go buy some more tickets….but this is a company blog…so here is the parallel…

 

In today’s IT organizations, the focus is *mostly* on applications that serve business functions.  We have teams that create and test software, teams that deploy and manage software, and teams that program manage and source software.  OPEX budgets are being pressured to reduce considering the vast majority of that expense is people.  CAPEX budgets are being pressured as we continue to buy more and more infrastructure to manage more and more applications versions in development *and* in production.

 

The irony, with exception of companies that exist to sell software, the business applications are not actually an asset (especially considering most of the work on our applications is building incremental features and *not* keeping current with technology).  IT budgets spend *most* of the rich disposable income on artifacts that are rarely read, and applications that are outdated well before they are deployed into production.

 

But what *is* the organization’s key asset, the data that is created by those business applications, are hidden from view, and handled like a side effect.  Something that has to be “handled”.  Is that right?

 

So what if we apply the lottery plan to our IT organizations?  Let’s say you now have a choice to where you want to spend your hard earned money. 

 

1.       Have the courage to choose to have a different focus or the entire organization.  Reinvent the IT organization to be data (your asset) centric versus application (not your asset) centric.

 

2.       Appreciate that your personal attention needs to move from the “managing people equivalents, creating complex processes, and application technology” triangular perspective, to being the  Chief *Information* Officer (yeah, remember that title).

 

3.       Redefine what is important to control, surrounding your asset.  Abstract away the business applications.  Abstract away the infrastructure.  Abstract away the manual effort to manage, version, and keep current.  Internalize data science.  Internalize data lifecycle.  Internalize creating value by combining and evolving your asset in new and interesting ways.  Let go of everything that is not your asset; that doesn’t have a *potential value*.

 

In tomorrow’s IT organization, the CIO buys commodity software and/or platforms to perform business functions that are managed by the package provider.  The provider keeps the software current, patched, monitored and maintained all within strict SLA requirements.   This is the food and the clothing.

 

In tomorrow’s IT organization, the infrastructure is a fully automated cloud, secured compute publically consumed, and secured storage privately consumed, and all fully managed by the component provider.  The cloud provider keeps the hardware current, available, and elastic all within strict SLA requirements.  This is the lodging and the transportation system.

 

In a perfect tomorrow, a single provider can create and manage both competencies for you; as they do for hundreds of other organizations.  Hint hint…Hitachi Converged and Unified Storage.

 

And most importantly, in tomorrow’s IT organization the CIO leads the Enterprise Information Management team consisting of data architects, data scientists, and data analysts….that exist for the purpose of continually creating new value, and new revenue for the business the CIO serves.  This is the happiness.

 

Enjoy your revolution.

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