Cash-starved. Fast-paced. Understaffed. Late nights. T-shirts. Jeans.
These descriptors are just as relevant to emerging tech startups as they are to the typical enterprise IT infrastructure and operations (I&O) department. And to improve customer focus and develop new skills, I&O professionals should apply a “startup” mentality. (read more…)
The Hub Commentary ___
I find this a great analogy for IT organizations having sat on both sides of the fence. I was once an IT application development & support systems analyst. I remember working on my first client server application (I know that dates me) and meeting with a technical engineer from a start-up software company who had come to help me with some pointers on using the tool for my project.
One of the first things we discussed was why I wasn’t directing the application I was developing directly against the database server. My response, “because if I use the database in the application, then all the users will have to have access/licenses and that comes with a fee.” So let’s think about this, they are paying you to develop an application, drop a spreadsheet of numbers into a database you paid for, then extract it again to display in this tool that you paid for. Yeah. Dilbert cartoon in the making! Incredible silence fell as we both knew we were spending more money to avoid a license to the database than if we bought those licenses and used the technology and application I was developing. Dilbert!
That was 20+ years ago (yikes) and as IT organizations we are often a penny wise and a dollar short. 2011 will no doubt be a tipping point for the service providers with business frustration at an all time high and access to new services prevalent. How an IT person answers this question is a telling statement to me, “What business are you in?”. If the answer is “I am in desktop support”, I know it is an inward facing IT organization. If the answer is “New drug development and I support keeping the scientists in R&D working racing against the clock to get formulas to the FDA to be first to market”. I know this is a business driven organization and there is no business ‘and’ IT.
Think like a start-up – technology is a solution to innovation, not a problem to support and operate