In which Jill and a friend ponder the cultural impact of disruptive technologies while--yes, you guessed it--eating lunch.
â€śWhy does it take us so long to get all these emerging technologies right?â€ť asked my friend and erstwhile client as we tucked into a hearty New York lunch at the Longwood Gourmet.
â€śMaybe weâ€™re supposed to test it first,â€ť I said, â€śbefore we do anything Big with it. You know. Sort of co-exist with it."
â€śDonâ€™t get all Zen on my ass,â€ť he said, and bit into his Number 29 (Grilled Chicken with Mozzarella and Basil on a Hoagie).
But heâ€™s right. Once management approves the investment and we write our favorite vendor the check, thereâ€™s a built-in expectation of quick delivery. The proof-of-concept has become a given with most technology acquisitions, irrespective of its appropriateness. But then what? Often, itâ€™s business as usual.
My friend's company needed master data management and he had the budget for it. He realized that CDI was a disruptive technology, would be perceived as a threat by some of his IT colleagues, and that it would require changes to both organization and infrastructure. He knew that CDI would help his company in its M&A frenzy: as it gobbled up smaller competitors, the myriad newfound customer lists languished on various servers. Lost cross-selling opportunities were costing the company untold revenues. My friend also understood CDIâ€™s promise in addressing poor data quality, a corporate phenomenon that had actually pervaded the culture. He was also hoping that he could use CDI to justify the role of Data Steward for corporate customer information, and that he could start formalizing data management development processes.
Unlike many of my clients who face off with colleagues, their business cases their weapons, and IT budget the spoils, my friend had the money. He had a vision for what could be accomplished, the battles that could be fought and won for the greater good of the firm. He had the artillery, he just needed a few more weapons in the salvo. It was just that his leadership, namely IT management, refused to fall on its sword for change.
Posted December 29, 2007 9:47 AM
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