It’s fair to say that I know very little about storage, other than being the foundation for all information management related initiatives, which of course is the foundation for all IT evolved thinking of the services they provide, which of course is the foundation for all leading organizational change and growth initiatives in the coming decade collectively referred to as the “Business Strategy”. So…just about that much.
In a few months, the annual financial and strategic planning cycle begins with multi-day coffee-enhanced offsites, CFO number crunching, and the ulcer-inducing bottom-up department FTE justification deck preparation. All the sweat and tears lead up to the Autumn board presentation disclosing our strategic initiatives and financial considerations and goals for the next fiscal year. Its lot of work. But for us strategists, we know that there is a complete and total expectation that by the time the Sr. Executives start the inevitable arguments on who needs to earn more and who needs to cut even more, the strategy has been refreshed to reflect the current market conditions and the new vision for the future.
A long term business vision is mirage, a very real place in our psyche but that physically doesn’t exist, nor ever will. The vision usually presumes that our clients’ needs don’t change, and all management decisions are made correctly, which of course is HIGHLY unlikely yet perfectly reasonable if you understand that annually the vision itself will be revised to reflect that the market has actually changed. With a new vision in tow, we need to pull the entire management team together to build a revised business strategy.
For the technology strategists among us, our slice of the business strategy pie is much bigger than it has ever been in the past. In many ways, the evolution of technology demands from the market is actually driving new visions, and therefore new business strategies. What was once a business service, is quickly becoming a technology service:
- Our clients are looking to significantly increase the number and type of interactions with us. Time and patience are at a minimum, so they need multiple channels of communication and content. Mobile apps for simple on-the-go tasks, twitter feeds for real time updates, SMS-based service and support, and a continued rich web experience reaching deep into their personal data to provide unprecedented insight into their well-being.
- Our clients are looking for personalized, location based, and life event organized products and services. Clients will walk to the competition if you plan on introducing those new products next year, or even next quarter. They want them now.
- Our clients are keenly interested in how and where their information is being stored and how it’s being used. They need to know they can trust us to keep it safe. They want to ensure we believe that it’s the single most important confidence we keep.
The new technology-based services focus almost entirely on the creation of new data from entirely new sources, a requirement to manage that data through a heavily regulated management lifecycle, produce insightful answers from unknown questions, all while ensuring that not one byte is lost due to technology failure, or misuse. The technology strategy now includes new concepts:
- Social and mobile initiatives will create new unstructured data, to be analysed by a new data scientist team will combine these new objects with the traditional transactional data in new ways
- to create more future value for our clients.
- Converged architecture with Cloud attributes of resource elasticity, self-service tooling, full workload service management, and pay per use create the foundation for real time production of new business products and services
- Information management processes and tooling for virtual warehousing, archiving, auto tiering, enrichment of object meta data will supersede the need for backups and offsite tape shipping. All of the data is needed here and now, just a varying speeds of delivery and use. All this data will be secured within the confines of our control, but likely distributed throughout a hybrid of private and public facilities.
Hmmm…well I guess it does seems like a storage answer…
Better fire up the IT Strategy PowerPoint template, it’s going to be a long Summer.