Saturday, February 9, 2013

Cost "Profiling" IT

Seth Godin, in "The Icarus Deception", wants us to learn how to see, to make, and to begin from a blank slate. We are all artists, he says, and "You need to know the conventional wisdom inside and out. Not to obey the rules, but to break them".

We tend to "profile" projects and copy what has worked in the past, or see projects based on models. IT operations does not like change, or breaking the model, they want to quantify and execute their projects. For example, this enterprise software will help consolidate all rogue applications having to do with X. The Users of X will have to conform to the standard enterprise software in order to save money.

So, the convention is to save money on an enterprise application through consolidation and scale, but to customize it because the out-of-box functionality is too generic to satisfied the needs of every group. Each customized feature, makes the application harder to change. The application could grow to be too big to upgrade within the downtime window.

The Users and applications are "profiled" and the solution is crammed down the enterprise. Is there a five year technical plan with the five year operations plan? I doubt it. Does cost profiling really suit the Users in the long run? What would happen if business groups could pick and choose their applications like we do from a cell phone menu of apps? The menu would be the enterprise; the app choice would be the business's. We need to really embrace self service at the enterprise level. Self service with simple to configure apps, what a concept...

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