I’m back from the Everything Channel XChange Public Sector 2011 conference.   I learned a few things and here are my thoughts enlightenment.

I’ve been to a lot of conferences over the past couple decades.  I’ve come away with reams of notes.  My goal now is to come away with 3 – 5 primary concepts and action items – less than one page.  I accomplished it at this conference and my notes surprise me.

i3 integrates technology solutions to accelerate business results

This slide – from Bill Eggers – jumped right out at me.  It paints home exactly what I’m looking for as a business owner, what business owners and executives are looking for and what government entities are looking for:

  • - Help me accelerate business growth and profitability
  • - Help me lower costs and increase efficiency
  • - Help me manage my business risk.

Again, most business owners and executives don’t really care about technology.  They just want it to work.  They want technology ReliabilITy.

i3 integrates technology solutions to accelerate business results

XChange Public Sector 2011

I took away an unexpected concept from this conference:   agile I.T. spending requires the ability to fail fast.

First I heard Bill Eggers, Global Director, Public Sector Research - Deloitte, speak about their study of government problem solving in a monolithic bureaucracy.  The challenge or opportunity progresses from idea to design through a <stargate> to implementation.  So many government programs fail and a few succeed right at the ‘magical – inexplicable’ stargate that there must be a better way.  Did you know that the IRS modernization project has been underway for over 25 years and countless billions of dollars?   NASA has turned to crowd sourcing.  NASA is posting their technical challenges to the internet and 180,000 people are signed on.  Congress authorized payment for viable solutions!

Vivek Kundra, US CIO, has implemented a stock symbol chart for government projects.  Vested individuals can buy virtual stock in the project’s success creating a type of odds view.  People know!  They chart the red and green ticker tracking on government IT projects!  Vivek’s objective is to move toward success or failure faster.  Pull the plug and move on!  See which ones stick and move on.

Rishi Sood, Vice President, Government at Gartner,  spoke.  Government is reprioritizing to cloud solutions and agile I.T.  Budget constraints and declines are roiling and changing everything.  Bring fast – flexible – agile solutions to government problems to set yourself apart and win business.

Michael Humke, Vice President at Ingram Micro stated that Government entities typically define the solution to their problem with an RFP.  Then they go acquire the product or services.  Is that how Apple works?  Is that how Apple iPads are showing up all over government departments?  Did a government entity write an RFP looking for a small rectangular device that would accelerate productivity and decisions?  No, Apple created a platform – a solution, then application solutions are built on top of it – fast and flexible – to solve business and government problems.  This is the big switch.  Bring innovative services and solutions to your customers and prospects to deliver fast flexible solutions.  This is how we drive change in business and government.

This was a government conference.  Government procurement is changing due to financial mandates – political mandates – federal cost cutting.  Therefore, government technology acquisition is changing.  Rather then writing massive RFP & RFQs for specific predefined criteria and solutions – they’re open to new – innovative – cost saving solutions.

My i3 technology lesson:  workability – fast prototyping – fail fast is the lesson that I took away.  Did you know that Facebook was prototyped / beta for 2 months?  Did you know that Twitter was prototyped / beta for 2 weeks?   That was Bill Egger’s point.  Execute – succeed or fail and move on.   You should know that, “i3 comes from an enterprise heritage from an IBM Premier Partner foundation – not a couple of IT guys stringing networks and PCs together.”  This enterprise quality and class technology is now our strength and weakness.  In today's competitive and fast changing business environment we must move to fast – flexible – innovative implementations and solutions.  This is the big switch in my head - we must execute business and technological improvements expeditiously and be willing to fail, start over and move on.

Technological innovation is delivering new and different ways to accelerate your organizational results.  I suggest that you open your mind to new and different ideas.  Try a few out to see what works and doesn't work.

Succeed or fail fast - because three years from now - it all changes.

Michael Ritsema
i3 Business Solutions, LLC

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Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.