The idea of “more” as a plus is extremely compelling. More seems to be a “no-brainer.” However, is it? Could more actually be less, at times? How does a CIO push his IT to provide more, and what are the consequences?
Choice and the freedom to choose are practically enshrined as a sacred right. In business and technology, we all have a range of more choices than at any other time in the past. But consider some product, like cell phones, for example. Choices can be dominated by the choice preferences made by a large group, marginalizing other choices that were less popular. Marketing perceives a preference for complex smart devices with a multitude of features. Suddenly, almost all phones are offering the same or more exotic features, at the expense of simpler models. Then, there is the paralysis of which one to choose. And, if business makes collaborative decisions, is that always good? Lots of competing technologies and solutions offer choices for IT, but what are the tradeoffs?
Who hasn’t chafed at some slow loading webpage? …Or at a salesman, who seemed to be oblivious to your needs as a client? Speed, like choice again seems to be a no-brainer, but in the rush to do something, mistakes can be made, wrong options chosen, criteria compromised. How does IT avoid these pitfalls?
Scale is about having the flexibility to adapt to rapid change. Here again, the idea of greater scalability would seem to be the ideal. …But what about the longer term? What are the collateral “side effects” to a change in scale (down or up), in manufacturing or in an IT workforce? Take a look at our blog, Making Change Work for the Organization.
Business is certainly pushing for more choice, faster speed, and greater scalability, (see Are old CIOs ready for the new normal?) but as we reconfigure our IT, we should also ask the questions about the costs needed to achieve these goals – what must be given up or traded off – in exchange? How do we ensure that choices are the best choices, that speed is not at the sacrifice of important criteria, and that scalability is achievable with as little (negative) “collateral damage” as possible?
Tune to hear our guests, including German Valencia CIO of DHL Express USA, discuss,Rethinking IT to deliver Choice, Speed and Scale this December 7th, 2011 at 9 AM Central, 7 AM Pacific, 10 AM Eastern.