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Can You See Your Priorities Through the IT Clutter?

Malcolm Ross, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy, Appian
February 5, 2015

I hate winter!

Why? It's always around this time that I get sick of the sub-freezing temperatures, the dry air, and the heavy coats. But winter in the east coast of the United States always provides a special perspective. The fallen leaves reveal the natural landscapes, the hidden places and valleys, and the things we normally don't see when surrounded by the dense foliage of Summer.

Being cooped up inside during cold winter days, I take advantage of this time of year to declutter my house so I can more clearly re-evaluate my priorities. Like the winter East Coast landscape, it is easier to see the bigger picture without all that clutter.

For my career, I take the same approach. What am I doing that is just clutter? What is just keeping me busy vs. adding real value to my organization? What is keeping me from seeing the big picture and the natural landscape of my business?

In the field of Information Technology, clutter comes by the heap (pun intended):

    • What about the Java 8 upgrade?

    • Have you applied that Windows patch?

    • Have you checked the website for XSS security vulnerabilities?

These are all important considerations for the average IT expert, but are they truly important to your business? Will your business ever proudly declare in a press release that they applied the latest Windows patch to their servers? Will you speak at a conference about your success in upgrading your Java version?

When taking this perspective, it becomes clear that so much of what IT professionals deal with can be seen as just clutter. That's why it can be so hard to become relevant in the eyes of business professionals. We as IT pros need to declutter our house and look at the forest and the landscape instead of the leaves. Fortunately a new era of enterprise technology platforms are making that possible. They are driven by key features that give IT the power to align IT initiatives with business value:

    • Cloud = Start now: Instant access to hardware capacity with no maintenance requirement

    • Visual solution design = Ease and understanding: No coding, more configuring. Visually build the solution instead so business users can understand exactly what IT is building

    • Re-use = Faster impact: Stop re-inventing the wheel. Store your IT solutions in a reusable repository and quickly leverage them in new ways to build new business solutions.

    • Easy upgrades = Always current technology: No more million dollar upgrades. Keep your platforms relevant to today's IT with continuous and simple upgrades.

    • High security by default = Trust in every application: Security is no longer a nice feature, but rather a core requirement. Modern platforms need to have high security built in so your applications are instantly secure.

We expect to see strong adoption of these new enterprise platforms across all areas of enterprise IT. The platforms will come in many names, such as low-code, cloud platforms, or platform-as-a-service. Despite the name, the value derived is a fundamental shift away from information technology and towards a more agile and technology driven business.

It's an exciting shift in the market. I'm as excited to see these platforms mature as I am to see cold weather fade away to the blooming Spring flowers.

Malcolm Ross,VP, Product