End of May. Mary Meeker (and Liang Wu) recently shared their latest report on Internet trends. An invaluable document with lots of data on where the Internet is going.
I believe that some of these trends are not only shaping the Internet but they are fundamentally redefining IT. CIOs & CTOs can’t afford to keep themselves detached from the business any longer. “Keeping the lights on” and ensuring that their data is secure is no longer enough. If they don’t adapt they can be contributors to the erosion of very solid businesses. IT is now in a position to provide business solutions and answers to decision makers.
As the Borg say “Resistance is futile” (for Star Trek fans). Social, Mobile, Big Data & Cloud are not just trends that we are starting to see. They are key pillars for the future of IT. Today, we see companies that are evolving in this way are seeing solid results. The world is changing fast (see great comparisons on the report above) and missing on this journey can fundamentally cripple companies in their ability to adapt.
I will develop further my views on these pillars in future posts (I just can’t promise when… )
One more thing….
Beware of long term roadmaps (3+years) for anything that is related to IT. Understand the vision and see how adaptive it can be.
I had/have the privilege to contribute the amazing growth Google had in the last ~7 years and, in particular, the growth of Google Enterprise. On top of my regular work I am a mentor @Campus London and this has been an enriching experience. After meeting many startups there are simple things that they need to consider before they successfully take off.
The secret for their success is not intrinsically related to quality if their idea(s):
People are usually very protected of their ideas (and of course that’s ok, it’s their “baby”) but they tend to forget that in many cases a similar idea is already there but it never took off. Its all about execution. Great ideas are wasted every day at lunch time. Learning where others failed and understanding the environment where you fit is step 1!
Commitment is important but by itself it is also not enough.
Yes, be committed and dedicate yourself as much time as possible to your startup. Depending on witch stage you are you will also need to commit yourself financially (otherwise how can you expect others to do so?). Said that, you will need perseverance and to be mentally strong (very strong). Be ready to listen many times the word “NO” until you hear a “YES”. People that you talk to might disagree with your business plan. If they are not a interested party, listen carefully as they might be giving you another angle that you should not disregard.
We are at an inflection point for IT. Think about the following:
10-20 years ago people had the best computer at work, the best printer and even a mobile phone! Today we see the exact opposite, a personal phone is better than the work phone. People use the latest communication tools like Google, Facebook, G+, Twitter etc.
On their personal lives people access their data from anywhere using all sorts of devices. People use every available tool to pass their message across and contact their friends. This change is unstoppable, IT is being “consumerized”.
The questions are: “how are companies taking advantage of these new trends while keeping company data secure?”. It´s not all about having a BYOD* policy and insuring it’s secure. People changed the way they work and the world is different. We realised that we work better together, that great ideas and great solutions come from groups.
Unfortunately I see that at work several people feel locked, unhappy and unproductive.
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” - Albert Einstein
I see companies every day with this problem and helping them to adopt a better and more productive way of working is what I like to do the most
Recently I was discussing with a friend if being positive and happy attracts success or if the fact that you reach your goals is what makes you happy. From that conversation I can conclude that everyone has their own theories about it. We ended up discussing work environment, collaboration and getting things done.
My friend states that “if you work hard you’ll be successful and if your successful then you are happy”. I actually think is the other way around. You should make the effort to see “the glass half full”. Be happy that the glass is half full and with that extra happiness boost you will work hard and fill in the rest of the glass.
Keeping a positive attitude to changes and roadblocks will make you more creative. By just seeing the bright side, people will tend to collaborate with you more and with that you’ll reach your goals faster. This makes the journey to success easier.
I know sometimes is not easy to see the positives but if you train yourself (brain and heart) to do so, things will end up being naturally positive in the future.