It’s the season for predictions. What will 2016 bring in IT? Consulting firms, IT vendors (F5 included), and general web pundits will happily give you their predictions for business, consumers and the resulting IT trends they drive. Some of them will be accurate to the point of prescience, others will be wildly off the mark. Many will be obvious to even the least curious IT professional, but there is always the chance for the unexpected – such as the rise in container adoption.
And that is where the IT team come in. Because if business and IT was as simple as just looking at an amalgam of predictions and then following their advice, then life in IT would be dull. Unexpected things are going to happen. Different attack vectors, different consumer trends, emerging technologies. Acquisitions, mergers, changes in direction and the need to be fast to market with new services all demand an infrastructure, but more importantly, a mindset that is ready to change and adapt to the needs of your customers.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for IT policy, and for making strategic assumptions – but all of these need to be held accountable to reality as it emerges. So whenever you create a policy of write out a strategic prediction – also include circumstances when the policy would need revision. For assumptions, include criteria or metrics that would need to be met for that assumption to be true. Then review these policies and assumptions regularly to see if you are right.
Because you are going to be wrong sometimes. It’s the nature of things. It’s how you identify what’s working and what’s not, and your willingness to challenge your assumptions, that will determine how well your IT serves the organization.
Because a flexible attitude is just as important as a flexible infrastructure.