Friday, October 01, 2010

So many opportunities, so little time ...

So the summer in the UK has ended, as any of you Ryder Cup enthusiasts will have noted, and before I pack up my pen to end the official working week, TGIF, I thought I must blog. I've spent a good proportion of my time this year talking about Cloud Computing in general and Government Cloud in particular. In fact, I started work with the G-Cloud Phase II team at this time last year. We produced our final reports in February and have been waiting since. Although a General Election and new Government has intervened. After 12 months we are now awaiting the results of new Government's planning to determine what happens next. What is certainly the case, is that we are all agreed - in the IT community at least - at what the opportunity is, what the challenges are and that there is no more money to be spent on doing anything. A recipe for an hiatus, I hear you say! Yes, well in ordinary times, perhaps that is so. But these are far from ordinary times. We heard yesterday that Ireland is on the brink of returning to its unenviable situation of being a poor country. The UK is not in the same boat, yet there is so much potential for us to change the way we do things, release the potential of exciting new ideas and perhaps the people to work on them. So why don't we grasp the nettle and move on? After all, it's not as if our current jobs are safe, is it? Why not reach for the stars and grasp the challenge and see what we can accomplish. After many years of ups and downs in the IT industry, I can honestly say that making do with less is preferable to not being there at all. In fact, a wonderful article in Harvard Business Review by Gary Hamel and the late CK Prahalad, "Strategy as Stretch and Leverage" pointed out that having insufficient resources will often lead to making choices and requiring innovation to get the job done. Why not capitalise on the genuine lack of resources and plan to deliver services differently? Share similar services with other organisations, outsource a large chunk of routine information processing to a SaaS vendor? Better still stop doing something which really doesn't matter or could be done elsewhere instead? After all, if the reasons for not doing so are rules written within the organisation, why not challenge the organisations own ability to manage change and do it anyway! You'll probably end up leaving anyway, why not try something  new and see if it works? After all, your job is probably on the block anyway! How else would you wish to spend your life? Have a good weekend - at least!

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