As IBM moves to consolidate security solutions, gets into Social Business courses for free, or --of course --having the Watson machine play on Jeopardy, you see the span of influence grow and expand beyond the traditional boundaries of IT. So, it becomes more important to think about how we talk with the folks in these difference places. For instance, I was recently at an IBM sponsored session where the now long established Eclipse client was a base for a number of Enterprise level development tools from Rational and there was someone not long out of school watching next to me. Suddenly, I heard: 'Oh look, it looks just like Visual Basic!'.
Exactly. We in the large systems, and for that matter distributed world, in IBM have been trying to get the message out for years about the evolution of tooling and the use of GUI interfaces, perspectives, and attractiveness with productivity for the next generation of IT coming along. We talk about skills, the changing of the guard, and the Academic Initiative and yet I don't think I heard in any of the materials someone actually come out and say the perfect thing to link to the next generations experience with programming!
In Management Speak:
Another example has to do with the aging workforce OR the aging technology challenge that goes on cycle after cycle. Sometimes it seems that this is a new crisis business has not had to deal with -- the whole issue of either old technology or the baby boomers being half of the large systems crowd and depending on what study you look at, the majority of them at least eligible for 'transition from the workforce'. And yet... while reading the current issue of Strategic Finance (the publication of the Institute of Management Accountants) there was a nice article about business as usual for planning the transition of executive leadership. They call it: Succession Planning.
Now, why the heck don't we use that term?? That is all Y2K was, or the first Virtual System, Telecommunication Network, SOA Solution... just business as usual and Succession Planning. For those of us who are in IT, or contribute to the changes around IT, we should remember this: The guys making the decisions are used to and familiar with a whole process around the discipline of succession planning. It fits into existing governance and strategy processes. It is immediately understandable and rings the bell in the cranium. Who is our next leader, the next big thing, zNext (sorry, not the official moniker-- though many of us have heard it!) technology? Use the right phrase or lingo and it is: '...No problem, we know how to deal with that. ...'
Why didn't you says so..?
So, let's try to see if we can get the eyes to light up, the bell to ring, the light bulb shining. Try to find the right phrase to link to the experience and world of your non-IT partners.
After all, it is called Enterprise, that means we need to connect everywhere and with everyone.... Use the right connection phrase and it can be, as the Cowardly Lion said in the Wizard of Oz: "...why didn't you say so?!..."