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Suits versus Geeks

December 4, 2012

jos-a-bankSometime in the last 24 hours a tweet brought my attention to a ZDNet UK article, Cloud decisions are no longer in the IT department’s hands – the suits have taken over. Speaking of suits, while “researching” this post, I discovered Jos A. Bank is was running their most ridiculous promotion so far. Buy one, get seven??? How do they do it and make money? I found the answer.

Anyway, the ZDNet article cites a study by Capgemini that is summed up within the first 3 paragraphs:

“The real cloud evangelists these days seem to be on the business side and not the IT side.”
– Ron Tolido, senior vice president for Continental Europe at Capgemini

Really. Wow. Is that news? The “suits” have been trying to get around the “geeks” for years. SaaS and cloud options like adoption of Workforce Central in the cloud have just accelerated the opportunity. Toward the end of the article, author Sam Shead provides some numbers on what’s holding some study respondents back from cloud:

  • Lack of integration – 45%
  • Fear of security breaches – 33%
  • Lack of clear cloud strategy – 31%

Hmmm… Sounds like some areas the geeks could be of assistance.

The numbers really make the case for why the suits and geeks need to work together on any SaaS or cloud initiative. It makes sense, right? Well, maybe not. Reading the comments after the article provided evidence of the schism between the two groups. Here are a couple examples from each side:

  1. “The suits have always made stupid decisions that the IT department is thence made responsible to fix and support, no matter how idiotic or inappropriate that decision may have been.”
  2. “The suits” (aka, the people who bring the money in) have been bypassing internal IT ever since Cloud applications first became commercially viable. To start with, this was driven by failure of internal IT to deliver what the business wanted (or perhaps more kindly, to deliver it in the time scales that the end users were demanding because IT was flat out fixing legacy applications).”

The sniping isn’t productive, and with cloud computing here to stay, maybe a pub crawl is in order to help suits and geeks find more of what they have in common, rather than hanging on to these biased notions about each other. Or maybe the geeks could just check out some suits

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