The conversation turned into something of a debate, which was fun, but more importantly, brought an interesting examination of important issues related to achieving success with enterprise software. John is a good buddy, so his attempts to trap me into a cloud cheerleading corner were quite enjoyable. He wrote about the debate over at CloudBlog.
Related: A Debate with the Doctor of Failure
John is a staunch, cloud-only fanatic (as an exec with Salesforce, of course we definitely expect that) whereas my view tends more broadly to find benefit in both cloud and on-premise solutions. Despite these differences, we both recognize that the roots of IT failure are not technological, but rather fall into the domain of people, expectations, perception, and communication.
As evidence of fundamental agreeement on the role of people over tech, John wrote the following comment at CloudBlog (yeah, he had to stick in number five, which goes back to specifics of platform, but I suppose that's John's right, especially since it's his blog and his comment!):
What facilitates the best deployments are:
- Expectation management
- Vendor excellence
- Executive engagement
- Cloud as an enabler
- Product excellence
- Vision and Goals
- A top notch implementation partner
- Adoption and ROI benchmarking
As the enterprise community continues to embrace cloud solutions, we must remember that people are always the center of success and failure. Although technology can make us more efficient, it doesn't change the basic way we work, communicate, and collaborate. If you want IT-related success, look first at people and only later at technology. If this seems obvious, then find out how many of your organization's projects are an unqualified success.
Here are parts one and two of the interview with John: