Though I stumble, though I fall…

Technology is an interesting problem. In part because, it is three things, not one. People sometimes forget that technology is one leg of the business reality we call the resource triangle (people, process, and technology). The people and process are equally as important (a triangle divided upon itself is not a triangle any longer).

I have been thinking about ways around this problem for a long time. In fact, one of the ways I have done this is in my book Operating Beyond your Borders. I won’t spend a lot of time talking about the tools in the book; they are after all in the book. Available now in paperback and Kindle format!

The reality of people and process is the impact often on people is the thing forgotten in transitions. It is frequently the cause and ultimately why migrations stall after the initial euphoria. “It’s new; its new” shouted in the halls quickly becomes “it isn’t working the way it used to,I,” said with sad faces. 

I wish I had a tool could give everyone that fixed the problem of people losing interest or faith in a project, I don’t, but I honestly wish I did. It has killed many migration projects. 

One thing I can help IT projects with though, is a description of the person you need running your migration projects. The first person is a project manager that can take the pressure. If the project manager can handle the pressure, it reduces the pressure on the rest of the team. The other person you need is an experienced person who is technical but also broad. Not only technical in the reality of what you are migrating but also able to take a full view of what is happening as you consider the migration. I can honestly say that lack of that last person is what I have seen as the RC of some migration projects. (RC = Root Cause). 

Getting, however, a generalist who understand what was, what is and what could be, that is hard. In the world of today, we treasure specialization. We don’t consider the value of a generalist anymore. I want someone who knows AWS inside and out. Why? We have entered the “everything” is a nail world, and cloud specialists are the hammers we pull out of our bags.

Look, the reality of the Internet of Things (IoT) will change this pretty quickly. Not today but in the next couple of years. “We need someone with more breadth looking at this” CIO’s will begin shouting. 

IoT is going to impact the world around us. More critically it is going to change the what and how of cloud solutions. The value of someone with deep expertise will be the reality of asking them how one specific thing works, but that is only part of the what and how of the future cloud.

Expertise is a wonderful thing, the more someone has, the better they are at convincing organizations to move. But expertise remains a complex word. We have to be careful that we don’t fall prey to what my father used to say about experts. Ex is someone that has the past. A spurt is a drip under pressure.

Depth is critical going forward but remember you still need someone that can look over the top and understand more of what is possible.


Lost in the sea of specialization