“As far as personalities are concerned, if men are from Mars and women are from Venus, then IT people are from Microsoft and their business partners are from Apple.” Susan Cram in her book 8 Things We Hate About I.T.
The statement above got me really thinking, observing, analyzing, and connecting. At the end I concluded that I wanted to become a Virtual Machine. Let’s take a look.
IT people are generally seem, rightfully so, as Geeks and according to Paul Glenn from Leading Geeks they “are more captivated by technique than application.” This next statement in the book made me think about the Apple vs. PC commercials. On the one hand we have the Geek representing PC, or really Microsoft, who needs to do so much work to get a task done. He also struggles explaining the How, but cares little about the Why. On the other hand, we have the modern guy who just gets the task done. His main concern is to efficiently do what is needed from him while also being innovative and creative.
The problem is that they constantly fail to communicate, at least effectively, which is one of the big problems between IT and business units. Business Leaders are concern with strategy, growth, revenue, profits. And they should. However, more often than not they assume that IT can deliver what they need, the way the need it, and when they need it without discussing the current business goals and strategy with IT Leaders. On the other hand, IT believes that they know what they are doing and that they are delivering value to the business. Many times we assume that we are valuable to the business because we just delivered the newest, fastest and coolest Intranet, Phone, Email, Billing or ERP Systems. But is that what the business need in order to growth, generate revenue, and profit?
Connecting Apple and Microsoft
Then I started thinking about Citrix and VMware, two major technology players today that deliver Virtualized platforms such as servers, applications and desktops. Why? I own an iPad and I absolutely love it. While I don’t consider it my primary tool to conduct my day-to-day work (yet), more and more often I use the Citrix Receiver on it to connect to my Firm’s system and do my work. Others may use VMware View client to get the same work done, and again, the common theme between those two is that they are virtual platforms that are pretty much hardware or OS agnostic. Their sole focus is to Connect you to your office so that you can do your work. While I understand that this approach may still not address the two platforms failure to communicate to each other, I do believe that it addresses the disconnection between them because I can now run a Microsoft Desktop or Application, in an Apple device (chuckling while picturing Steve Jobs laughing about it)
Becoming a Virtual Machine. Becoming a Connector
And that is why I want to become a Virtual Machine (VM). I want to be able to connect Business and IT by establishing and maintaining an effective communication bridge between the two so that IT can deliver value and operational efficiency. I want to be able to help the whole IT Organization to understand What the business is trying to achieve, Why is trying to achieve it, so that we as an organization can be part of the “How we can achieve it” discussion. I want to help the Business Units to understand what the current capabilities of the IT Organization are, and what they might be in the future. I want to be able to connect both sides to deliver services that will help us become more operationally efficient as a whole, so that Technology can be used to create innovation and competitive advantage.
So I guess I want to be a VM, and next time you see me you may call me VM.
And I leave you with a question. Who is Google then? I believe that it is the Staff in general. The Staff outside Management or Leadership of any sort, which despite getting it done is having a hard time being considered into strategic discussions, but it is kind of making its way through, at least in the most efficient organizations. Food for thought.