Monday, September 7, 2009

Walter Cronkite for CIO!

I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.

Rudyard Kipling, Just So Stories

The "5 W’s" serves as one of the most basic formulas in journalism (police investigation and research too). The power of “Who? What? When? Where? Why? (And How?)" stems from the fact that each question requires a factual answer that cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”.

How many botched projects, misinformed acquisitions, and over hyped technologies could have been nipped in the bud had the original proposals been subjected to this most basic journalistic benchmark?

Who specifically are the stakeholders? (people who care) Whose job responsibilities will change? (not at all the same as stakeholders)

What exactly will change for each of the stakeholders and those who will see their day-to-day tasks change?

When will these changes occur (as steps within a process flow and/or in what sequence)?

Why will any of the participants “opt-in” or cooperate? What’s in it for them?

How exactly will proposed changes be implemented? How will the proposed technology set all of this in motion?

New technology promises all kinds of life-changing opportunities – but the distance between technology and adoption is much more than “the last mile” of a vision – it’s the difference between vision and victory.

A case in point – we have been focusing on bringing “runtime intelligence” to market – a genuinely unique approach to application monitoring. What makes our approach unique is that it is designed to “serve the selfish interests” of two communities that have historically had very different priorities and worldviews. By serving a much larger constituency, we are able to drive higher adoption, increase collaboration, and solve “unsolvable” problems for the very first time.

Typically, applications are monitored by EITHER developers OR operations. Developers are mostly concerned with debugging and general usability issues. IT operations will often focus on performance, security, and licensing. In fact, BOTH groups of stakeholders suffer from their respective isolation from one another. For example, a software vendor wants to build features that are of value to the widest possible set of users – a single company (operations) only cares about their own parochial needs (and they don’t want to pay for “over engineering”). The software vendor worries about piracy and IP theft – operations worries about sensitive information loss and operational risk. This (and many other) inherent conflicts between developers and operations management undermine both groups' agendas and impede their success.

Runtime Intelligence may be the first solution that addresses application developer demand for near real-time visibility into adoption and usage in the field while simultaneously helping operations automate their IT policies and reconcile application investments with business performance.

Our breakthrough is, in large part, due to a our focus on making sure we have solid answers for the 5W’s (and 1 H).

"And that's the way it is."

No comments: