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Uncertainty might be a problem in IT – but only for those who are unprepared

Fran_Fernandes ‎03-29-2014 09:08 AM - edited ‎09-30-2015 07:02 AM

By: Francisco Fernandes, Solutions Architect, Hewlett Packard Company (Brazil)


blurry future - condensed.jpgIn a recent article, Daniel Burrus talked about how certainty would drive growth in an uncertain world. He emphasized the existence of known cycles which includes business, weather, time of the year, biology, etc. Those cycles represent a relevant set of variations that must be considered by IT in support of the business. And they are already taken care. But the concern is how technology trends and their rapid pace of evolution are making what is uncertain even more risky for IT at many companies. 


The cycles of change grow shorter. And from one cycle to another, we can see entire businesses going away as a new technology completely replaces an old one. Some changes are permanent – you can´t go back, like a car’s electronic fuel injection system or turbines in airplanes. Can you imagine brand new airplanes using state-of-the-art.. helixes? These changes can even make an entire industry disappear. This happens not because of the changing technology, but because the company was unable to transform their business and follow the new trends.


In IT, change is the only constant. Not just because technology evolves, but because business is dynamic. Requirements are changing all the time in order to follow new market conditions and customer needs. IT has been experiencing a new shift, where clients are now at the heart of some businesses – interacting and shaping new products. Even when future trends are clear, some companies are reluctant to adapt their IT systems and infrastructure.


Agility is key, and it will be even more important going forward. While current cycles may not change, new ones will emerge, driven by social media and new user habits and behaviours from generations Y and Z. New devices will be wearable and will be part of everyone’s life – and most likely part of your business.


When and how is this going to happen? It’s already started but many people think it only applies to early adopters and virtual businesses. As Burrus mentioned, you can anticipate and flourish or entrench and die. His strategy for dealing with the future is like  the old sign by the railroad track:   Stop, Look, and Listen. You should do the same for your organization:

  • Stop responding frantically to changes and set aside some time to think ahead; trying to anticipate the future.
  • Look at the problem you might have now, the ones you might have in the future and how your organization would be impacted. Be prepared to face those challenges.
  • Listen to the clues that might be outside your range of vision. Anticipating problems can bring you carefully considered alternatives, not last minutes attempts. 

And how can IT respond to all this? New trends bring so many possibilities, but one path is clear: the new style of IT. It can prepare IT to respond to challenges you are anticipating. Most important, it will help you to mitigate the risk associated with unexpected situations that must be addressed quickly.


Technology has been playing a key role for some new products, as many new ways to interact with customers are being created. Mobile devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) are not only trends, but good examples where IT will be challenged to enable companies to invest in innovative solutions (more on that in a future blog).


The future is already happening and its impact on your business needs to be assessed every day.  The impact will be different according to how the market responds to new technologies. Take the time to think about what is going to happen in at least the next three years. The new style of IT can best prepare your business for a successful future – it’s your call.


Previous blogs by Francisco Fernandes:


Related information: 


About the author


foto 3x4 francisco.jpgFrancisco Fernandes, Solution Architect, Hewlett Packard Company (Brazil)

Francisco is a Solutions Architect and an Applications Modernization Expert with more than 20 years of experience working on Applications in different industries including banking, financial services, telecom and healthcare. He joined HP in 2002 and is located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


About the Author


Solutions Architect working at HP since 2002 with focus on Applications Modernization, located at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

cebess on ‎03-30-2014 11:58 AM

It was good to see you today in FL. Clearly you've been a bit agile lately.


When you say "Take the time to think about what is going to happen in at least the next three years.", how far afield should people go when thinking about what's going to happen. Is it just in their industry or in IT or where... What are your thoughts on that?

Fran_Fernandes on ‎03-30-2014 12:13 PM

@Charlie Good to see you too. We need to catch things up later.


My statement was pretty open so let me elaborate a little bit on that. No matter the industry, we should look ahead looking for signs that would anticipate issues and risks. 3 years can be OK for many industries but for some of them, 1 year is enough to bring new trends to life and put some businesses in trouble by not being prepared to quickly respond to that new market condition. As some of these new trends come from IT, like the Internet of Things, CIOs have a key participation in this process together with business leaders, trying to understands what is coming and getting ready to make the most of it. Of course there is more that affects businesses like financial, politics, but I meant to focus on IT and business industries.


I also would like to see your point of view on that!


Thanks !

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