For the past year my blog series — Managing the Changing IT Landscape — has explored how forces such as consumerization, cloud, and changing business demands are directly shaping the way IT operates.
After I finished reading “The Quantum Age of IT” by Charles Araujo, I began thinking about the Industrial Revolution that took place during the late 18th century. The Industrial Revolution was the first time we endured a cultural shift as a direct result of technological developments, where industries were forever transformed by the progress made in manufacturing and production. But it didn’t stop with business. This revolution changed the way human beings lived their daily lives. And it started with human beings who understood the capacity of technology to simplify and enhance life.
Fast forward 250 years and we see these same forces around us today impacting the IT industry. “The Quantum Age of IT” eloquently summarizes this revolution. IT as we know it has changed — with each new day, the expectations of IT organizations are evolving rapidly and new skills, technologies, and business relationships are needed for success. It’s crucial for us to recognize that these changes did not occur overnight, but are rather a manifestation of forces that have been building for years.
Evolution. Not Revolution.
Those who lived through the Industrial Revolution probably did not realize how significant and impactful the changes were at the time. Similarly, we are simply too close to the problem to realize how big the forces are. This is where we in IT are at risk. We have to take a step back.
In this new age, the risk of maintaining the status quo can be the most dangerous behavior of all. Even though the path forward can feel daunting, now is the time to focus on making innovation a priority in your enterprise. Charles makes an excellent argument for the need to transform IT.
Wal-Mart or Nordstrom?
It comes down to choices of IT services, systems and strategies that are best for the business. In the Quantum Age, Charles states that IT organizations have a single choice of evolving into one of two business models: become Wal-Mart or Nordstrom, but never both.
Transformation is Personal
My favorite quote from the book can be found on page 206 and states, “There is no such thing as organizational transformation. Transformation is always personal. It is always individual. It also can only be realized from the inside out. That is, you cannot transform another person. You can only transform yourself.”
Too often when faced with the need to change, people wait for someone else, typically those above them in the organization to lead the way. However, IT can’t wait because the business can’t wait and won’t. Start with the services your team provides to your customers. Leadership, like transformation, is personal and throughout the Quantum Age, Charles offers practical tips and advice to willing leaders ready to make a change.
Get Started Today
I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did. I also hope you’ll share your insights with others and with us by using #TransformIT on Twitter