Seems like I really do get excited about Innovation with a capital I. This morning I’ve been flicking through some of the NetApp vlogs/blogs and this one struck a chord with me: Dave Hitz on Recognising the Courage to Think Differently, aka the NetApp Innovation Awards. Here are some quotes that (seriously!) send shivers down my spine:
We’ve got this theory, if you want to be innovative, a good way to do it is to hang out with innovative people.
It all comes together, and you go: “whoa, we hadn’t thought of that when we invented whatever piece we did..”
Usually people don’t get fired for doing the safe thing that everyone does… We want to encourage that kind of atmosphere of saying “you did it, you took the risk and it won big for you, let’s celebrate that”
If only we’d do something different, perhaps the world would change for the better.
This is so inspiring for me that a tech company – that any company – is out there saying “why just be average, why just follow the status quo and follow the guide and make sure it works just like the textbook? We want you to try to use our product in the way that makes sense to your business. We want you to get the most out of this kit you’ve bought or this software you’ve invested in. Not just that, but we want to acknowledge you and promote your innovation. That is super, super exciting for me.
What you see right now is still the whole concept of IT being a cost centre, and as demands on technology grow (everyone needs a desktop, no, everyone needs a virtual desktop, no, everyone needs to access it from ANYWHERE in the world RIGHT NOW) the cost of implementing technology grows, and then they look at the IT budget and say “but technology is supposed to be improving, why is it costing more?” and IT people get cornered and think “ok, keep costs down = don’t change the status quo”. Working for an MSP I see this in our customers, who are constantly managing their CapEx and OpEx budgets just to get IT projects approved. Suggestions of innovation, well, innovation can cost a lot of money and it can fail and it can make IT’s presence really painfully obvious in management meetings.
By acknowledging that not only is innovation possible, but welcome, NetApp are paving the way for IT in organisations to step outside of the comfortable box. I find this inspiring. Not just make it possible to innovate using their infrastructure, but also by combining their tech with someone else like VMWare and getting people excited about the possibilities. Getting business excited about the zero downtime migrations, getting techies excited about the command line (I have never found a true tech not excited by a command line, so kudos on pointing that out). Getting me excited about technology enabling business and reducing cost and also making techies happy.
These are exciting times we live in. Honestly I’ve been a little down at the moment about the rate of innovation and reluctance to embrace change and these videos really made my day. And it’s not even 9am.