Here's a challenge for you: Balance multiyear infrastructure development work with short, 30-to-90-day projects that deliver business application systems as business needs evolve. And do it so that even as you're implementing the IT infrastructure, you're delivering new applications that use this infrastructure.
Stories by Michael H. Hugos
We live in a global economy, where continuous incremental change is the name of the game. Gone are the days when companies could hope to prosper by just doing the same things and making the same products over and over. Successful products and services are quickly copied; they become commodities, and the prices companies can charge for them are continually ratcheted down.
The emergence of the Internet and the Web have led to disruptive changes in companies' IT infrastructures. Ready or not, it's happening again. But this time, the changes will be bigger and they will come faster. IT departments will have to be more responsive because, at root, that's what these changes are all about.
When I got into the IT business years ago, I thought the business analyst was the most pivotal person in the whole profession. That was the person who was the bridge between business and technology, the one who could see and understand both sides and whose goal was to apply technology to support business initiatives that would help the company grow revenue or shrink operating costs.
I sometimes learn more from failure than success. When I succeed, it just confirms what I already know -- I'm a genius. When I fail, I have an opportunity to learn, if I can bring myself to take an objective look at what happened. This is hard, but then making the same mistakes over again is even harder. So failure can be a great opportunity to learn.
In a previous piece I wrote, I described a situation where a national restaurant chain wanted to increase sales and reduce costs by better matching its food inventory with local sales demand. I asked readers how they would use IT agility to enable the company to accomplish that goal.
In a world where things happen quickly, companies need to respond fast if they are going to prosper.
More and more, I see references to the "real-time enterprise" or the "agile, sense-and-respond enterprise." It might sound like just another IT fad, but I think it's actually something big. It's where IT can really show its value to business.
In the past year or so, an idea has been steadily working its way from the back of my mind to the front. This idea is starting to seriously influence the way I see my job as well as my participation in the IT profession. It starts with an observation: We in IT are still playing that goofy game of inventing TLAs (three-letter acronyms). The problem with this is that the proliferation of TLAs just distracts us from appreciating a larger opportunity and draws us down narrow alleys in search of the next insanely great new thing.
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