I wrote a blog on the topic of change leadership after being at the State a couple of years and seeing the culture of complacency and resistance to change. Essentially, “nothing needed to change” was the theme, and when changes were discussed, there was no desire to participate. Coming from the private sector, we were regularly had to choose between changing or perishing. This was a frequently discussed topic among leadership, and it was well known that resistance to at least investigating change was more than just frowned upon. We were expected to develop a management team ready and prepared to embrace change with confidence and a positive attitude.
I read an article recently stating that the McKinsey and Company consulting firm reported that, in 2022, 70% of digital transformation efforts fail. Another article stated that the same firm reported in the 1990s that 70% of all change management efforts fail. I then struggled with understanding the difference between “digital transformation” and “application modernization.” I was more confused when I read an article that stated the terms “digital transformation” and “application modernization” were interchangeable. One article stated that “digital transformation” had to include “effective change management” and a “digital-first culture.”
I learned several lessons during the 1990’s dotcom stock market bubble working at TD Ameritrade. I saw “hyped companies,” unprofitable startups that never saw a return, and “hyped technology” that never came to fruition. I saw firsthand the startup company losses and was caught in the wide net which impacted our workforce at the time.
In my previous jobs, I’ve learned and used several different process improvement models. But none was quite what I was looking for, probably because my path has been a little unique. That uniqueness has taught me things that I have cataloged over time. Change has been part of my career ever since my days as an Industrial Engineer. My job was and still is continuous process improvement. I am now hard-wired with that mindset.
In my last blog, I wrote about system High Availability (HA) and mentioned the word “resiliency” a couple of times. I described how resiliency improves the probability our systems are fully operational 24/7 and improves our chances to recover quickly from a technical issue. It improves our ability to overcome challenges even when we have not defined the cause of an issue.
I looked at the 2023 NASCIO Top 10 State Priorities list posted recently and realized that Business Continuity and/or High Availability (HA) was not mentioned. I went back through several years of lists and had to travel all the way back to 2016 to find it—it was listed at number 10. 2015’s list had it at number 9. High Availability and/or resiliency was missing from every list. Is it because we have no competition for our services, so our customers don’t expect as much from us?
My rule for the OCIO is that if a request does not come in as part of our ITSM offering as an Incident Request, Service Request, Change Request, Problem Request or via our Project Management tool as a Project Task, it did not happen. This provides an audit trail and forces us to take ownership and responsibility.
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you probably have picked up that I am not a big fan of hyped technology. In fact, I found that I used the term “hype” 24 times in blogs I have written since starting in 2015. I used the term 10 times in my blog “Inflated Expectations.” So, I could not help but investigate the hype around ChatGPT. From what I had heard and read, I was a little concerned that it could replace me as a blogger. Since it is a conversational form of artificial intelligence technology, I had to start by making sure it liked my blog.
Moving Enterprise applications to the cloud assists in our mission, “Respect for the Taxpayers of Nebraska,” reducing costs while providing enhanced capabilities for delivery of services. Our goal is not to eliminate staff, but rather to retrain our existing positions to understand and enhance their skills by learning the cloud equivalent."
The annual publishing of metrics continues, and you have never let me down. StateScoop had a great article last January where I was asked, “How can one tell if someone is doing a ‘good job’ in their job?” I stated, “the answer is simple and found in numbers”.
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