I recently had the opportunity to attend a conference where we discussed leadership values.  We did an exercise that “measured” how well we lived values that are important to us.  In the end, we discovered which values are truly important to us by reflecting on how much time we live these values. 

For example, if you were to say that health is a top value, but you spend minimal time on this – exercising only one hour out of 168 hours in a week — you would want to reevaluate exercise as something that is less important to you.  In my humble opinion, no value is a “bad value” — a value may be different than mine, but that doesn’t make it bad, just different.  Awareness of your values is important to staying aligned with your vision of the life you intend and leader you aspire to be.

Understanding your infrastructure vision

The same can be said about your company’s infrastructure.  Whether it is in-house, managed, or cloud based, none of these are “bad” infrastructure architects, they are just different.  However, the vision you have for your company and your infrastructure plans need to be aligned.  If they do not match up, inefficiencies will build, making the IT plans the wrong ones for the company.

Below is a table with four values to consider for your company and the typical corresponding infrastructure.  Which value ranks the highest?  Is your company infrastructure aligned with the overall vision?  If not, mapping a path to align the company vision with the infrastructure may be needed.

Value Infrastructure How it plays out
Control In-House Typically not lowest cost; full accountability and full   control of IT resources
Speed Cloud Low level of control and increased reliance on outside   resources; lower cost and quick scalability
Certainty Managed   Hosting Trusting in someone else to maintain, update, and support   infrastructure to free resources for core business activities
Flexibility Hybrid   Solution Keeping the possibilities open to benefits of both a   controlled solution and a quick solution

Ultimately, visions for your company should branch to the values that fulfill this.  Tactical functions and resources need to project from these values in order to realize the organizational vision.  Similarly, if health is important to you, spending the time to walk 10,000 steps in a day and skip the fast food line to cook a nutritious meal should replace time spent on activities that are not associated to a core value.

Does your current infrastructure align with your company vision?  What changes do you need to make so the vision, values, and tactical functions align?