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Topics: Career Development, Change Management
Continuous Technological Change
When a new piece of technology emerges and gains use, is your organization’s first question – How does this fit?
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This is true when it is a perceived game changer such as blockchain or machine learning, but when it is just an evolution of existing tech, the business need would precede solution definition.
Usually our architects will highlight technologies worth investigating and do some skunkworks. (Am I dating myself?)
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2 replies by George Freeman and Kevin Coleman
Sep 16, 2019 7:40 PM
George Freeman
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If you walked by my group, you would see and smell a new technology skunk actively prowling the trenches. Covert prototypes are often the only way to introduce new technologies into the enterprise, in my practice, the skunk has succeeded more often than overt introductions of new technology.
Sep 17, 2019 1:11 PM
Kevin Coleman
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@ George - some of the new technology really smells! Those are the ones that will likely blind-side use.
We shouldn't let us leave by the trend and but the first question that should be made is: this new technology really add value to our business area, second the technology has reached a minimum level of maturity to be used and bring benefits. The current technology has already surpassed the payback value and is beneficial replace by the new one. This and more questions make sense because already seen adopting many new technologies too soon or without a true beneficial effect causing a black hole in the company accounts.
Hello Kevin - I do believe one of the first questions my organization asks is - how does this fit in with our company vision and goals. I am in the healthcare industry (hospitals) and new technology is constant in every area - it is hard to stay on top of all the changes and then very quickly is outdated again.
@ Lori I hear ya! Healthcare is one of the focuses of new technology and change is continuous. I don't see how any organization can keep up.
Sep 16, 2019 1:32 PM
Replying to Stéphane Parent
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Usually our architects will highlight technologies worth investigating and do some skunkworks. (Am I dating myself?)
If you walked by my group, you would see and smell a new technology skunk actively prowling the trenches. Covert prototypes are often the only way to introduce new technologies into the enterprise, in my practice, the skunk has succeeded more often than overt introductions of new technology.
In organizations I have worked with it is generally a small group that force introduction and if they succeed it is more widely integrated. At times some competing ideas are implemented and eventually one will prevail.
This question depends on what technology are we referring to and how big it will impact us and most importantly does it impact our core business / applications. For those who need immediate assessment application owners in collaboration with PMO, network, security experts and DBAs together look into whether this technology fits, and when and how to embrace it.
Sep 16, 2019 1:32 PM
Replying to Stéphane Parent
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Usually our architects will highlight technologies worth investigating and do some skunkworks. (Am I dating myself?)
@ George - some of the new technology really smells! Those are the ones that will likely blind-side use.
Good play on words :)

That’s the value of skunk-working new technology, it can be vetted out with relatively low risk to the organization. If a technology survives its skunking, then it can be presented for mainstream consideration.

If the risk appetite and tolerance quotients of the organization align with the value proposition and risk of the new technology, then skunking is not necessary and an overt operation can be had from the start.
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