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April 27, 2012

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Brian Gracely

Ownership is an interesting term, or even mindset within a corporation. There is a belief by business leaders that THEY own many of the aspects that you mention (people, information, etc.) because they can draw a direct line between claiming ownership and their paycheck results. All that may be fine when silos are the right model for the company, or central services provide a commodity service (payroll, email, office furniture).

But what I've never understood is why smart leaders don't create an internal system that measures and rewards teams to share. Not just "encourage" it in quarterly meetings, but actually align it to measurements. For example, take the "big blobs of information" scenario you mentioned. They will get built centrally or distributed. You can't stop that. But can you link new funding to those teams that actively work to open their data for consumption by other teams? Or open it to partners or customers or communities?

I'm not sure I'd want to encourage a shift in mindset of "owning information" from IT to the LoBs. That just moves a pile of dirt. Maybe the extreme example is how Amazon requires all internal services to be linked via API (http://www.apievangelist.com/2012/01/12/the-secret-to-amazons-success-internal-apis/), but isn't that more the mindset that you'd tryand encourage to be successful in a massive information-centric economy?

Chuck Hollis

Hi Brian

The Amazon example is the exception, not the rule. Few organizations have a strong, visionary CEO that "gets" an overall information strategy, especially if the organization wasn't "born digital" like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, et. al.

I would argue that "business leaders care and invest" is a necessary step along the journey. After a while, their needs and perspectives would likely change, and you'd be moving towards a more centralized solution -- armed with more mature perspectives and behaviors.

-- Chuck

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Chuck Hollis


  • Chuck Hollis
    Chief Strategist, VMware Storage and Availability Business Unit
    @chuckhollis

    Chuck works for VMware, and is deeply embroiled in all things software-defined storage these days.

    Previously, he was with EMC for 18 years, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Holliston, MA with his wife, three kids and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.
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