Monday, January 25, 2016

The Enterprise IT Adoption Cycle: warning, graphic content

I lay no claim to this illustration at all, although I wish I had thought of it myself.

Illustration by Simon Wardley, 2012
For all the talk about competitive advantage and agility, enterprise IT departments tend to be inherently conservative beasts.  A classic case in point comes from this quote by silicon valley startup guru and former SAP strategist Ryan Nichols (originally published here in 2011:)

"You know, the reality is that enterprise IT is going to be looking to different vendors for different things, and I think one of my learnings from the time I spent at SAP is that SAP’s enterprise customers want SAP to be the system that doesn’t change, be the system that they don’t need to touch more than once every five years. That’s what they want SAP to stay, which is why it’s so tough for SAP to innovate and change because at the end of the day, their customers don’t really want them to."

I am a huge fan of Geoffrey Moore's work.  In this 2010 Slideshare presentation, he describes his concepts of Systems of Record and Systems of Engagement, and ties them to the challenges of moving enterprise IT departments beyond the last panel of Wardley's graph.

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