Friday, August 7, 2009

What gets asked, and what gets done

I came across a fascinating blog today ...

Srini Kumar asks, "Do you know what your CEO wants?"

Don't assume you do. Kumar enumerates five different points of departure between what CEOs are after and what their technology lieutenants pursue. Maybe that's why CIO is rumored to stand for "Career Is Over". (I know a guy who was offered a chance to combine the CIO role with the CTO role. The new position would be called Chief Information and Applications Officer. He declined to take it after I pointed out that his job title would be "CIAO".)

At least two of Kumar's points resonate here:

1) "Taking years building frameworks or standards which gets outdated ... ." I recently did a business case for a customer who wanted to compare a buy-versus-build-versus-outsource decision. But they wanted to focus on the annual operating cost deltas, to the exclusion of analyzing the time-to-go-live. That's what they wanted so that's what I delivered, but it would have been my preference to make some educated guesses about how soon each of these options could be up and running. The more you capture this, the better cloud computing looks.

2) "Jump onto bleeding-edge solutions where there is no need and no expertise." Another argument in favor of concentrating knowledge in dedicated cloud facilities. Most companies simply can't keep up and waste their time, talent and strategic focus if they try.

Kumar's day job is as the Java chief at offshorer Satyam. His solutions are simple. Kumar is a strong proponent of Software as a Service, off-the-shelf apps, going outside for expertise, and using technology to simplify rather than complicate.

Of course, if this approach was always the least expensive and least risky option, everyone would be doing it. Still, I'm in broad agreement here and wanted to share these thoughts with you.

Have a better day,


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