10 Rules Enterprise Technology Groups Need to Start Living By

Over the past ~15 years or so I’ve had the opportunity to engage with enterprise technology groups in one form or another whether it be designing solutions with them, consulting for them, selling to them and now, actually working within one.

As a result I’ve had a front seat as they’ve been dragged into a new world where they’re no longer the place where employees are amazed at the cutting-edge technologies they get to work with at the office, but instead a place where just keeping up with the latest technologies has become a massive challenge (Hands up if you work at a big corp and you’re still on Win XP, Office 2003 & IE6).

Compounding the problem is the accelerating pace of technology evolution – not just for the applications and hardware already in the organization, but the growing number of applications and devices they’re expected to support. 25-30 years ago it was a putting a computer on every desk, today I personally have a corporate desktop, laptop (2 actually), blackberry and iPad. Then you’ve got the applications, the intranet and all the servers to run everything. What it boils down to is 100’s of thousands of moving parts that they’re responsible for and that number is only increasing (oh, and did we mention your budget has been cut back?).

So with that context I do think there’s some areas where technology groups could make their lives easier. Most, if not all, of the following rules really only require a mindset shift to implement (easier said than done, I know) Continue reading 10 Rules Enterprise Technology Groups Need to Start Living By

Change Don’t Cost a Thing

A few months ago I was in a meeting where we were discussing the future vision for a set of technologies that would help enable employees in a variety of contexts. The challenge of course, is the ideal state of all of these technologies requires infrastructure – and it’s usually not cheap. As a result,just about every conversation came back to “Our infrastructure won’t support it.”

The default position of many organizations is to adapt the users behavior to fit the infrastructure rather than building an infrastructure to support the desired behavior. I suggested in the meeting that we needed to do a lot less of the former and really focus on the latter which of course, predictably, was responded to with “Do you have any idea what that would cost?”

Actually yes, I do.

Nothing. Continue reading Change Don’t Cost a Thing

Recommended Reading for August 25th

Here are some recent posts, sites or articles I’ve found worth a read – you might enjoy them too:

Have suggestions or comments? Leave them below!

Recommended Reading for August 20th

Here are some recent posts, sites or articles I’ve found worth a read – you might enjoy them too:

Have suggestions or comments? Leave them below!

Flickr Goes Global

I actually intended to post this before I left for Germany but I got busy and then had crap Intenret connectivity for a week. So, belatedly, here it is…

Anyone who’s dug around in the “Everyone’s photos” section of Flickr has probably realized that the people who submit pictures to the site come from all over the world but oddly enough, up until now, Flickr has only ever had an interface in English.

I noticed the other day that there was a new title bar across the top of the screen offering up the fact that Flickr was now available in a multitude of languages.

flickr_lang
On top of English, Flickr is now available in French, German, Korean, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Traditional Chinese. Localized interfaces are something that, more often than not, I’ve found the Web 2.0 apps are lacking. Most are aimed squarely at US English speaks and that’s it.

Screencap: Franz Patzig
Amusingly enough the trend that has emerged is companies in foreign countries creating the same tool but in their local language. A German-based Digg clone was acquired for many millions – a huge number when you consider it was a market that the company could likely have served for want of some localization work and global thinking. Instead they left the door open for someone else to walk right into their market, leverage their effort and ideas and then take a huge chunk of money off the top as they get acquired.

Any company that offers a software product, thick client or web-based, should take these types of lessons as a reminder of the importance of thinking beyond North America’s borders.