Innovation powered by passion
Having gained my experience through education, time, and hard-earned trial and error, I have found that nothing is accomplished without passion.
One definition of passion that I like is: a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything: Ex: a passion for music.
I’ve had several passions over the years. One of the latest is my passion for paragliding, which has had a great impact on my perceptions, life, and problem-solving. It is a passion that I found later in my life and that helps focus on finding successful outcomes.
In paragliding, the stakes are high every time you make the decision to fly. Successful outcomes are measured through time and distance, that are reachable only through developed skills and experience. It’s an activity that requires constant improvement and learning, taking place in a dynamic environment with unpredictable requirements. The beauty is in the insight required to participate.
Business is the same in many ways. I find that the development of adaptable skills and insight is key to being successful. Any business that doesn’t have these capabilities, is bound to struggle and miss the opportunity to go higher and further than they could have imagined.
I’ve been in the integration business for about 35 years. A large portion of those years were as a Certified Information Technology Architect with IBM (Over 22 years). Having worked with 100’s of customers I have found that a serious problem, of which I’ve been guilty myself, is continuing to expect different results from taking the same actions. Somewhere in my experiences, I was taught that this is a classic definition of insanity.
In business, this means that we keep taking on projects that we hope will bring about fundamental change to the business, but they’ll get bogged down in complications that stifle our chances of success. Paragliding has taught me that we need to address our problems in adaptable ways to be able to respond to the situation. Without that adaptability, we are doomed to attempt to take the same actions we have in the past only to find them fall exceedingly short of reaching our successful goal of going higher and further.
Get Ready. Get Set. Go!
Many people have a belief that innovation is something that magically happens. Innovation is actually the realization of a strategy/approach that allows you to easily adapt to new capabilities that you previously couldn’t. In integration just as in paragliding, this requires the ability to plan, prepare, and analyze situations to understand what tools and skills need to be brought forward to achieve success or avoid disaster. Planning means understanding the general conditions that will be faced and establishing an approach to address them. Preparation requires that you balance the items identified in planning and the implementation restrictions to assure that all the proper tools and resources are in place. Analysis is the key to determine if business goals were achieved and identifying changes for future projects.
For paragliding, the planning involves understanding weather, wind, desired goal and several other factors. The preparation means you take the appropriate clothing, have the appropriate glider, and have the necessary skills to accomplish the goal all while balancing the limits of weight and the unknown. The analysis happens throughout the entire process. Did I judge the conditions correctly? Was my goal truly achievable? Were my skills up to par for the task?
In terms of integration, we have to adopt a very similar approach. In the planning, we have to understand the business and technology conditions that we are enhanced or encumbered with. We have to include measurable business objectives to assure we can analyze the results and assure the value of the integration project. When preparing we need to make sure that the project has all of the right tools and stakeholders involved. We need to make sure that obstacles are cleared as much as possible and are able to adapt as conditions and requirements change.
Ultimately I have found that paragliding and working on integration projects are very similar and I think this is one of the reasons I am so passionate about both. The requirements to
are critical to the realization of success for both. It is important to remember that success only comes through the diligent application of all 3.
Every Journey Needs a Map
When working on the formation of An Integrated Business, it became very evident that in order to develop an approach to help businesses realize new heights through integration that we needed a framework to guide the discussions. Just like in paragliding a critical part of the process is having a map to guide you to a goal. The framework that I developed acts as that map.
It provides a guide for an approach to addressing integration projects, that outlines:
Identification of actors/stakeholder and how their cooperative input is required
The need to apply best practices in technology and business
Utilization of best technologies both existing and new
In addition, it highlights the fact that technology will be applied as needed. This means that new integrations are not always approached in a rip-replace approach. Any integration strategy that does not recognize the value of existing technology is doomed to fail.
The key point of this framework is that integration is a joint effort between business and information technology, whose ultimate goal is to deliver information that is trusted, reliable, consistent, timely and easily accessed. All of which will result in delivering capabilities to the business in the form of actionable insights, which ultimately will result in the business being able to achieve higher and further goals than ever imagined.
As the CTO of An Integrated Business, I will be 100% responsible for keeping our customers and friends informed about the best approaches to address their integration needs. This blog “CTO Corner” will be our primary vehicle to accomplish this. But as in all endeavors in life, this can not occur in a vacuum. So I have a request for you and a promise from me:
Help us understand your needs. I will ensure that this blog represents requests from our audience and that we are responsive to those requests.
Help us understand the technologies that you are interested in or concerned about. We will constantly be evaluating new and upcoming technologies and understanding their value in the integration landscape. This does not mean however that we will be throwing out the “technology of the day”. It must fit.
Finally, we will ask you to let us use you as technical case studies. All privacy will be maintained especially when proprietary information is involved. But we are all in a village and can only grow together.
Looking forward to collaborating with you!
CTO - Trusted Advisor
An Integrated Business