July 9, 2018
Companies Have Evolved Away From Solutions
Before the start of the home computer evolution, we had a large list of problems we knew we couldn’t solve as human beings, however, we knew that if a computer could be created with a set of algorithmic capabilities and persistence of state and data, these problems and many more could, and most likely, would, be solved very quickly.
So, it’s no surprise that the creation of a computer capable of activities and memory far above what we could do as humans, did lead to a revolution of advances and questions to answers were in great abundance.
I call this era the ‘Pure Computing’ era, meaning our questions and the way we asked them to a computer were direct, and there were not extra systems we needed to interact with to ask these questions or understand the output.
Unfortunately, the groups that sustain this model, are the largest and most powerful companies in the world. It would be unfair to say they are not offering us better ‘pure computing’ solutions, only for revenue reasons, yet that may be true, but the other side of the story is, companies like Microsoft, Intel, IBM, and others, can’t afford to throw out decades of work they have invested in their new devices and software, and losing that much revenue to provide a better solution would cause their stock to devalue.
That leaves us in a difficult place, as psychologically, we believe we are doing all the right things, but only because we have grown to think all this extra equipment and money being spent are necessary things. Now, on the other side, in some cases we do need a set of Database Servers with DB software on them, or Analytics software to see what our data tells us about achieving our business goals, however, the point is, everything we talk about or plan around, should be more closely communicated in the context of our true goals, and not bloating ourselves through excessive IT infrastructure or slowing ourselves down with new tools that enforce more process and believing that we need to continually have more.
One of my clients, who was struggling with a problem they couldn’t fix, started investing their budgets into Big Data repositories, new ServiceNow implementations, SQL Servers, Oracle Application Servers, SAP, and the list goes on…
After analyzing their goals, and their inability to solve problems that were blocking their success, I realized what they needed could be achieved with far less of everything they had and were attempting to get. To determine this, we reiterated their goals and identified what was in place, what was leading towards the success of the goal, and what was not.
To summarize, I solved the problem with a single C# class and a CSV file with 600K rows of data in it.
They were blown away that the problem was solved, and when they saw the mechanisms used to solve their issues, they couldn’t believe it. Even seeing it was hard for them to accept. But we condition ourselves with beliefs based on what we know, and what we think about, research, etc… So we are more likely to think of what SQL server will do in 10 years, instead of thinking that maybe SQL Server isn’t the most ‘Pure Computing’ path to meet our goals.
We can easily overcome these kinds of traps that take us and our budget, away from the most important questions we need to answer, by thinking through our approaches and strategy before we act, and doing it without bias. We need not fear change, or consider it too lightly, but need to look at all the information we can gather and then ask all the relevant questions and decide together how best to proceed.
Are we here to help make the giant corporations more money, or are we more interested in solving the problems that mean the most to us?
Maybe we need a ‘CPO’ or ‘Chief Purity Officer’, making sure we have the correct amount of infrastructure and third-party support, with the maximum focus being spent on tasks that directly help us achieve our goals.