IT/Cloud/Digital/ML/AI/Bot Transformation — One Weird Trick?

This weekend I was talking to someone that works in IT for a large financial organization. We were discussing how he ended up in our neighborhood. He shared that he moved here a decade ago from mid west as part of a hiring spike this organization did for an IT transformation project. He said that several of those hires are not with the organization anymore. That IT transformation project has failed and cancelled. These people had to find next major project and move to a new city.

In some ways this is no different than what many companies are trying to do with Cloud. They are undertaking Cloud transformation or Digital transformation and are binge hiring staff. It seems like our industry goes through this phase on a periodic basis ( once every 7–8 years?). While I have no issues with hiring and growing team, I have to wonder if it is a fiscally responsible thing to do for a CIO.

It is proven time and again that success in IT is a marathon of making good choices and rarely a 100 meter dash. There is no one weird trick that will turn your IT organization from analog to digital overnight. Yes, we seem to think this time is different and chase that one weird trick, either it is Extreme Programming or Scrum or DevOps or startup in a large org or a lean startup or something else. Or we chase that one new platform or a new paradigm. We get rid of the staff who aren’t learning new tricks and hire new staff who knows all the latest buzzwords.

I ponder why we fail to learn that there is no magic here and its simple hard work with a series of good decisions. Is it so hard for IT to take a long term view and build an organization that can evolve with the needs? Why is IT not able to build resilient organizations that can evolve with technology? Is ignoring training on new skills the downfall of these IT organizations?

I don’t have answers, but looking for the more thoughtful among you to help. Comment here or reply on twitter.

Parody + Tech commentary.

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