A key member of your leadership team is not giving you direct feedback. Which is nerve-wracking, because what you need most when formulating IT strategies and plans is a straightforward, unadorned, and accurate perspective.
Sadly, you can’t escape the worst cheater on your team. That’s because the worst deceiver is the one you see when you look at yourself in a mirror.
You know who I’m talking about. This is the person you are most likely to trust, who is most likely to tell you what you want to hear, not what you need to hear.
But do not worry. Unlike every other cheater on your leadership team, you don’t have to resort to drastic measures to deal with your self-deception. You just need to remove the blinders that divert your head from unwanted information. To get started, I’ve compiled a list of lies that you’re probably telling yourself about what 2022 has in store for you.
Employees want to go back to the office.
We used to think that employees liked the sense of sociability and belonging that came from the friendships they formed at work.
Time to peel this onion to the next layer. What’s starting to seem like as long as they had to come to the office anyway, the interpersonal relations clerks were … nice.
That doesn’t mean that the opportunity to socialize makes employees really want to come to work. Some certainly do, but more are ambivalent at best. They believe that while in the office, socializing is more enjoyable than retiring to their cubicles to tickle their keyboards and mice.
But overall, the benefit of socialization doesn’t even outweigh the frustrations of commuting.
We fully support remote workers
The pandemic probably makes you think you have this remote thing under control. He has embraced the hybrid business and, until now, has been able to focus the management of on-site staff and on-site staff on what they can do. Keep telling yourself that everything is fine, even though you probably won’t even monitor the reliability and performance of employee home ISPs.
Sure, you can take a stance not to blame the ISPs at home – not that everyone won’t blame you anyway. Here’s the biggest problem: You must have implemented Teams, Slack, or some other collaboration tool. You’ve made sure your users have been taught to use the tools, congratulated the implementation team, and bragged about it to the executive leadership team.
But as with any other application implementation, the implementation does not end when employees learn to operate the new tools. It is finished when the employees have learned to do their jobs using the new tools.
So unless fully online and hybrid meetings are as natural and effective as the same people collaboratively solving the problems that used to solve them, meeting in a conference room with large blackboards, the job is not done. The experience has to be equally fluid and intuitive. And when meetings hybridize, with some participants in the office and others in those little squares on everyone’s laptop, the problems only get worse.
You get a dame on all of this though. At least no one has to try to find the only dry erase marker that still has some life.
Oh, and one more thing: everyone everywhere probably needs to pay attention to having effective meetings, period. Technology can’t fix bad meeting habits. But you already have a grip on that, right? Correct…
COVID is last year’s problem
This self-deception falls squarely into the category of illusions. The pandemic is far from over, nor will this be the last pandemic. Viruses will continue to jump from one host species to another, and global travel means they won’t be any easier to contain.
If we’ve learned anything in recent years, it’s that pandemic prevention and mitigation should be an important section of your business continuity plan.
We think of the rest of the business as an IT customer.
No, it is not.
If your average IT department ran a restaurant and a customer walked in to order the rare 16-ounce porterhouse, an IT employee would say, “I don’t think so. You look a bit chubby. I’ll bring you a salad from the house. Does low-fat ranch dressing sound good?
If your average IT department owned a hardware store and a customer walked in to buy a ceiling fan, the IT store associate would say, in no uncertain terms, that the customer couldn’t be trusted to install a ceiling fan without hurting themselves. “I think this floor fan is the right answer for you. Do you need instructions on how to connect it to the power outlet? “
Businesses with clients don’t make “no you can’t” their default answer.
We comply with our business SLAs
Maybe it is and maybe not, but sticking to a service level agreement is a long way from success.
An SLA is a contract between IT, which acts as a supplier, and a part of the business, which acts as a customer. As anyone who has been a supplier knows, customers only post the contract when there is a problem with the relationship.
If it was a real vendor, pointing to the SLA and arguing, “See? Are you satisfied! “It wouldn’t exactly get you anywhere.
Well, no. It would take you even further away from somewhere than you started.
A service level measure is a two-part metric. Defines the minimum threshold of acceptable performance and the percentage of time that IT reaches that minimum threshold. SLAs are the IT that plays defense. Most business managers only negotiate them with IT because IT tells them they have no other choice. Because really, if IT doesn’t meet its SLAs, what is the business manager going to do, sue?
Not really. We comply with our business SLAs
Business users, no matter what their role, go home and shop on Amazon. Amazon never stops and is rarely slow.
Some are gamers. Their gaming sites are rarely, if ever, down.
Some share ideas on social media. We may want Facebook to crash and burn for a few days, but it doesn’t.
Business users also check their thermostats and door locks, see who’s ringing the bell, and control how much less exercise they’re getting than they’re supposed to in New Years resolution, all using smartphone apps.
The expectations of business users of information technology, that is, are set at home and carried from there to the office. They are not established by their SLAs.
The fact of the matter is that the whole idea of SLAs is a quaint relic from a bygone era.
If your goal is to get everyone in the business to think hard about IT and the services it provides, make your consumer experience your point of reference.
Unless, that is, they use Comcast.
I have a strong partnership with the Chief Digital Officer
Keep telling yourself that. It is a comforting thought.
The CDO’s job is to keep track of what’s possible given the current state of technologies that rank high on this year’s list of digital-enabled opportunities and connect the dots between them and business strategy. The role of the CDO, that is, is to make promises. Your role is to keep them.
Which means it’s his job to disappoint everyone by explaining what’s possible on the planet that he likes to call “earth” given the limitations and other obligations IT has to deal with.
Guess which version of “what’s possible” will appeal to the rest of the executive leadership team the most.
What’s that? Does your company have no CDO? Congratulations! You have dodged a bullet. Until now, at least. If you want to keep dodging it, keep your eye on the ball – that is, build and strengthen strong relationships with each member of the ELT.
We have a comprehensive cloud migration plan
Chances are, you don’t even have a reliable app inventory. And if you do, many of your migrations to the cloud will be what is politely called “lift and switch,” which is the IT equivalent of pouring cheap brandy into a Courvoisier bottle. Batch COBOL is still Batch COBOL; The point-to-point batch interfaces are still point-to-point batch interfaces.
And while I hate being the bearer of bad news (okay, that’s one of my lies), you won’t know if your plan to migrate them to the cloud will deliver the performance you need while syncing data between DBMSs living in different data centers to thousands of miles apart.
The cloud as a place where computing happens is less interesting than you might think when reading PunditWare on the subject. The cloud as an application architecture is what is important. Therefore, a comprehensive cloud migration plan refactors all portfolio applications to a cloud-native architecture. I’m not saying you should do this. I’m saying it’s not a comprehensive cloud migration plan until you do.
If you upgrade and switch instead of refactoring, you may see reduced platform licensing costs, but the flexibility and adaptability that come with true cloud-native architectures just won’t happen.
If we get attacked by ransomware, we’ll be fine
Well maybe. Do you have the original installation files for all your applications safely stored on air gap servers? Not only do you backup your data, but also take frequent snapshots? Are you running an artificial intelligence / machine learning tool to look for ransomware-like patterns in your network traffic?
So maybe you’re at least a tougher target.
Oh, and if your ransomware strategy is simply to pay the ransom and wait for the attacker to restore everything as promised, remember this: Risk management recognizes exactly four responses: prevent (improve odds), mitigate (reduce damage), secure (share the cost) and accept (hope it doesn’t happen).
If the risk is that an asteroid hits the earth, annihilating civilization as we know it, and the prevention strategy is based on Bruce Willis arriving on time, accept that it is not a bad strategy. Otherwise it’s just being lazy.
Hope is not yet a plan. Click here to see what a plan looks like.
We won’t have to start planning Windows 11 until 2023 at the earliest
Oh wait. This time you are telling yourself the truth. Give yourself a gold star.
Your best strategy for 2022 with Windows 11 is to ignore it, for two reasons. First, you have a long time before the migration from Windows 10 becomes urgent, and in the meantime, you have bigger fish to fry. Second, a well-established rule of thumb for Microsoft software is never to depend on the first version. Call it “best practice” and insist that you stick to it when someone asks you about it.
Yes, you need to set up a test lab so your end-user support team can, in what they laugh call their free time, become familiar with it, but that’s all you need to do in 2022.
I am honest with myself! Actually!
When it comes to lying, doing it to yourself is much easier than to someone else. When you lie to someone else, they are more likely to be on the lookout for them.
This does not mean that you should ask a trusted confidant if they think you are right on the subject. Trusted confidants are almost as likely to tell you what you want to hear as you are.
To be honest about being honest with yourself, there is no substitute for personal due diligence. Be on the lookout for what might seem like a compelling narrative but is not based on verifiable evidence.
And make sure everyone who probably disagrees with you knows that even if they don’t convince you, you will always be receptive to their views.