Think beyond the server farm, CI-CIO!
March 30th, 2012 by ravi

Everyone quotes Steve Jobs but nobody wants to follow him. I suspect there are two implicit or even explicitly profered conceits behind that: maturity and safety. Maturity is the grown-up pragmatism that a business leader (for this post, a CIO) needs to juggle conflicting criteria: cost, variable preferences over individuals and time, interoperability and compatibility, security, so on. One cannot willy nilly pursue perfection, but instead one must seek the golden middle. Safety on the other hand is the fear expressed in that old saw “Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM equipment“. Once a narrative, a legacy value or even mere habit gains hold, it assumes the power of a hard science, and can often be displaced only by a revolution from below (the positive case) or an en masse migration of the field to a newer set of buzzwords (the negative case).
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The user is the consumer is the employee is the enterprise
November 10th, 2010 by ravi

Three year olds are clever people. Take the example of my son who vehemently resisted our pleadings to ingest more food: “My stomach is full. There is just no place left for any more food”. But his resistance turned to enthusiasm when, just a few moments later, some ice cream made an appearance. Upon being reminded that by his own admission his stomach was out of room, he scoffed dismissively: “That’s my stomach for food. Ice cream goes into a different tummy“.

It is less humorous and hardly clever when a corporation adopts this line of defence. Nevertheless, time and again, this is the very approach employed by corporations both vending products and selecting them. Like most subterfuges the effect is achieved through wordplay, in this instance the [mostly] false dichotomy created using the words ‘consumer’ and ‘enterprise’.
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