What’s on your organization’s Christmas list?

Hopefully your organization isn't on the naughty list...

Hopefully your organization isn’t on the naughty list…

I have a daughter who is missing all of her front teeth; however she has opted against asking for front teeth for Christmas and is pushing Santa Clause for a Princess Diary with Lock and Keys. I think many organizations are hoping Santa brings them more stable economic times, bigger budgets and some relief from the austerity of the last few years. I hate to be the Grinch but unfortunately, I just don’t see it ending up under the tree. The climate in both public and private sector is that IT has to do more with less. I don’t want to leave you feeling like Charlie Brown, I think there are three things every technology IT executive should put on their list in order to make 2014 a better year than 2013.

Troux-as-a-Service: Get a better understanding of your application portfolio and make better decisions in 2014: Getting results from Enterprise Architecture has been on many technology executives Christmas list for years.  Enterprise Portfolio Management and associated disciplines are becoming more mature. So is the software that supports them. Traditionally, software packages in this space that came with strong records of implementations ending in ROI also came with big price tags. Now many of these vendors have software as a service models available. I talk about Troux-as-a-Service in this video.

Salesforce: Despite the hype, most executives and organizations are not getting to the cloud or getting to the benefits of the cloud yet. 2014 may be the year as many factors including increased maturity from service providers, better understanding by internal IT folks and the business case come together to make cloud an inevitable part of the story for most organizations in 2014. I believe this charge will be led by vendors like Salesforce that have developed platforms that enable third parties to securely deliver specific capability to organizations “just like yours.” The appexchange model which iTunes and the AppStore have made so prevalent in the consumer market is fast taking hold in the public sector with 2,126,132 enterprise class installs to date (today).

Millsapps, Ballinger & Associates: Ok so getting some exciting new clients under the tree that are focused on making 2014 a year of change is actually on my list. I think we should be on yours because we are experts in the first two things on this list and more importantly because we really are “focused on outcomes.” One of the things I believe separates us from the pack is that we measure ourselves by our clients success. With both our Troux 90 day portfolio offer and our ExAM4Enterprise.com offerings our focus is always on getting you to value fast.

So that’s what I think should be on your Christmas list this year. What actually is on the list?

 

Thanks as always for reading my blog, I hope you will join the conversation by commenting on this post.

If you liked this post, please consider subscribing to this blog and following me on twitter @jmillsapps. I regularly give talks via webinar and speak at events and other engagements. If you are interested in finding out where to see me next please look at the my events page on this blog. If you would interested in having me speak at your event please contact me at events@joshmillsapps.com.

If you are interested in consulting services please go to MB&A Online to learn more.

Social doesn’t want to talk to your minions

Social doesn't want to talk to your minions

Social doesn’t want to talk to your minions

People always talk about how “it’s a small world” and to a large degree it is…and getting smaller as advancing technology, social media and other forces help us connect with others and stay connected. Many organizations are racing to implement technologies and processes to meet this challenge.

Like many others I believe that social signifies something new for us, but I think responding to the new world it has ushered in requires a comprehensive response in order to be successful. Simply establishing organizational Facebook and Twitter accounts and jumping on new social trends as they occur isn’t enough. This is because social isn’t just about websites or banging out 140 characters on your phone. The real change is that the world expects the gap between them and the leadership of the organization to have evaporated overnight.

This brave new world we have entered into expects feedback loops to close faster than ever before and to be understood in the context of all of the information available to that stakeholder as well as to the organization. They expect to be responded to in near real time, to be taken seriously and treated like their opinion matters…and because its so easy to shout in our new world everyone’s opinion does matter (at least for an internet minute).

So what can you do? Understand that you now live in the equivalent of a small town. Many of your stakeholders are nosy neighbors who know more about you than you want and love sharing it- the good and especially the bad. I think modern leaders are facing a real challenge in how far they position their desk from these stakeholders. Those able to carry off having at least the appearance of an open door policy to the rest of the world may profit. No matter how much you embrace the forces that are making us closer connected its important to recognize the expectation and ensure that to the degree possible you are empowering the people in your organization to react to the conversations happening right now all around your organization.

Thanks as always for reading my blog, I hope you will join the conversation by commenting on this post.

If you liked this post, please consider subscribing to this blog and following me on twitter @jmillsapps. I regularly give talks via webinar and speak at events and other engagements. If you are interested in finding out where to see me next please look at the my events page on this blog. If you would interested in having me speak at your event please contact me at events@joshmillsapps.com.

If you are interested in consulting services please go to MB&A Online to learn more.

Remote – Why we decided to go virtual

MB&A is going virtual

In Yahoo vs. Remote Work I worried that Yahoo might experience some brain drain for the way in which it pulled its remote workforce “privileges.” In Is remote work, too remote? I questioned if the type of work we did at MB&A required to much close in teamwork to effectively be accomplished by working remotely. I was surprised at the response from both posts. Particularly on govloop.com where some very strong opinions were shared on telework. That post prompted a response from Guy Clinch “Answering Joshua Millsapps Question: Is remote work, too remote?” which made me question some long held beliefs and do a little bit more research.

Eventually I found Remote: Office Not Required and started reading. The more I read the more I thought maybe this was something we should be considering. In fact our team sounded a lot like the folks at 37 signals. We have a strong culture, lots of high performers and as I thought more about it I was less worried about productivity and more worried about morale. The book put a lot of that fear behind me and the fact was our office was really only convenient to me. I liked having everyone close by because it was convenient for me. Everybody else was slogging an hour or more to get to Arlington, Virginia. The bottom line – the commute was terrible for everybody but me.

One of the things the book brings out is the way in which remote work refocuses manager on the real metrics worth watching -real productivity – not simply 9-5, plus a smile equals a job well done. It also points out that given the nature of the modern working world you aren’t likely to be making that big of an impact by virtue of having people do their work at your facility other than helping yourself manage their chairs. Those inclined to spend the day watching YouTube are not going to be great employees no matter what office set up you have and the likelihood you’ll notice is actually greater in a remote environment because it is so focused on productivity.

We also did some number crunching. While our immediate savings from going virtual isn’t anywhere near the 100 million dollars in annual savings reportedly saved by IBM – it was significant. So my partner and I talked about it and made the decision. As of December 1, Millsapps, Ballinger and Associates is officially virtual. We gave up our office space, our conference rooms and our hopefully our traditional attitudes. If it doesn’t work we can always go back. One thing making the move easier is how much of our infrastructure was already virtual. We have a small development environment that needed to be moved but outside of that it was just shifting phones and faxes and working with each other to manage the transition.

I have to say I’m excited by the experiment and while I’m still a little bit nervous about things will turn out I have to say I think it is going to be a smashing success. I’ll keep you all in the loop on what we learn a long the way. In the interim if you are considering going remote in whole or in part – check out Remote: Office Not Required – it convinced me that going remote was the best decision we could make for our long term future.

 

Thanks as always for reading my blog, I hope you will join the conversation by commenting on this post.

If you liked this post, please consider subscribing to this blog and following me on twitter @jmillsapps. I regularly give talks via webinar and speak at events and other engagements. If you are interested in finding out where to see me next please look at the my events page on this blog. If you would interested in having me speak at your event please contact me at events@joshmillsapps.com.

If you are interested in consulting services please go to MB&A Online to learn more.