Innovation and the Struggle for Control


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You’ve probably known for a while that Firefox is moving to a faster development cycle, and a lot of corporations are peeved.

The complaint of the big IT departments: “We can’t keep up your release cycles. Slow down your innovation, if you please.”

What’s going on here? It’s a fundamental struggle – don’t we love fundamental struggles? – between Control and Innovation. Firefox is doing the innovating – making their tool faster, more adaptable, and more secure with every release (at least, we hope they are). Corporate IT departments want to keep control of the tools they use. They’ve established what Firefox calls “effort-intensive certification policies.” You can’t control something when it changes every week, and you’re not notified till it’s a fait accompli.

The IT guys can’t keep up with Firefox, which is doing its job trying to keep up with the market. I’m with Firefox here. If a corporation’s culture can’t adapt to others’ innovation, how’s it going to keep up with the increasing demands for rapid innovation from its customers? These companies are hobbling their employees with old tools.

It’s time for them to adopt a new model, including a new take on certification. And its time that we expeted our IT departments to get ahead of the innovation curve instead of dragging it down.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Thompson Morrison
Thompson Morrison has spent the last couple of decades figuring out how companies can listen better. Before co-founding FUSE, Mr. Morrison was Managing Director of AccessMedia International (AP), a consulting firm that provides strategic market analysis for the IT industry. His clients included Hewlett-Packard, Compaq, IBM, and Vignette.


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