Are You an Agent or Victim of Change?


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Meet Walter.

Walter thrives on change. He’s nobody’s victim.

He knows that embracing IT automation is the safe bet for his career.

But Walter is a doer. Why isn’t automation a threat?

Because it’s how he controls his own destiny. It’s how he builds his personal brand. It’s how he rides the wave of change, rather than fighting against the tide.

Every so often, everything changes. Our set-your-watch-to-it routines are turned upside down by fundamental market shifts that render yesterday’s truths … false.

In IT, we’re particularly vulnerable to these disruptions. Here, the pace of change tends to clock at a particularly high rate. For some, change is what makes it all interesting. It’s the thrill of the sport.

But for many, change is hugely unsettling.

That is why, in IT, we often see patently dysfunctional behaviors perpetuated ad infinitum. Politics, protectionism, inertia and control freakery all flying in full glory.

Today, IT is in the midst of massive change, driven by sheer economics, the need for speed and the example set by public cloud services, which has made it clear that the old ways of delivering IT services are no longer sufficient—or acceptable.

It used to be the case that IT was the cable company and you were the guy waiting out the scheduled service call window. Were you OK with this? Hardly. But you had no choice: IT was a local monopoly, just like the cable company.

Now there’s a tsunami forming on the horizon—a wall of momentum with a full fetch of ocean behind it. Amazon EC2 and other cloud services are an alternative to the wait, and these services are radically altering the performance expectations for enterprise IT, which has no choice but to change.

The key to this change is broader, deeper automation of manual processes—retooling IT service delivery for on-demand, cloud-like performance.

Of course, this sort of automation threatens many doers who have built their personal franchise performing manual tasks. Writing clever scripts. Being heroes.

But the more insightful among them—folks like Walter—know that what is truly heroic is getting on board with the change. The need for speed is a freight train and standing in the way is for the foolishly proud and the imminently flattened.

As Forrester’s Glenn O’Donnell likes to say, IT faces a fateful choice:

“Be the automator, or the automated!”

For Walter, it’s an easy choice. He thrives on change.

He watches scale compound and performance expectations do the same, and he knows that adding people is hardly an option. As importantly, he recognizes that the change underway is far bigger than him. It’s fundamental and forever.

But Walter is unique. As automation becomes the foundation for new IT delivery models, the ranks will split between the agents and the victims of change. These change agents will become leaders in their own rights, as they happily trade up to higher levels of contribution and put robots to work on their behalf.

So, what is the moral of the story?

Embrace the change.

Be heroic.

Be the automator, not the automated.

Be a Walter!

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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