May the 4th be with you

  • IT can prepare organizations for change and generate value in the process.

  • Planning for value generation is not just enabling technology or business, but both.

  • Be ready for IT to provide insight that enables action.

May fourth is the day set aside to celebrate one of the great science fiction series of our time. The date is derived from “May the Force be with you,” a phrase that has become iconic of the Star Wars franchise.

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To most, the phrase means “good luck, be well, good fortune, may good things happen to you.” But to those in IT, it can also be something closer to a loose transition of a quote from Louis Pasteur: “Chance favors the prepared mind.”

Back on St. Patrick’s day, I posted about why it is better to be prepared than lucky, discussing business continuity and disaster recovery, but there are other “opportunities” to prepare for. Recognizing trends and patterns is a strength for IT, enabling those that are prepared to take advantage of change. Some examples:

  • The rate of change and transformation is increasing. IT can prepare organizations to assimilate and take advantage of change through context recognition techniques that allow for the separation of the unique from the normal. IT can apply automation to take the variation out of the normal and focus people on using their creativity to turn anomalies into opportunities.
  • The increasing digitization of society and commerce is not a replacement for today’s processes and systems. In most cases, changes like the Internet of Things (IoT) add additional capabilities. Learn how to be flexible, iterate, and add. It is an “and” not an “or” world that we live in.
  • Scarcity affects value. Every organization needs to determine how what is abundant for them can be used to maximize the value of what is scarce for others. Big Data is a great example of this trend affecting organizations.
  • Social influence impacts all organizations, so make it work for you. Collaborative tools and social media are available for all. Just don’t limit your thinking about collaboration to people, as we live in a world of ever smarter things.

One of the main contributions of IT is to provide insight that enables action. May fourth is a reminder that it can be a force that enables new approaches and business models, by helping remove the fog of war that contributes to latency, uncertainty, and inaction.

Charlie Bess is an independent IT consultant. All opinions are his own. AT&T has sponsored this blog post.

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