SoftLayer, an IBM company, @ TheNextWeb 2014: Masters of Failure and Change

SoftLayer Logo

Written by Michalina Kiera, Senior Marketing Manager EMEA at SoftLayer, an IBM Company

michalina-kiera

Michalina Kiera, Senior Marketing Manager EMEA at SoftLayer, an IBM Company

If you stand still, you go backwards. We’ve all heard that at least once and a lot of us claim to live by that rule. But do we really? How often does the risk of challenging the status quo hinder our decisions and paralyze our actions? How many times, especially in large business scale, do we fall into the spiral of establishing stable position and then waiting for what happens next, assessing the risk of readjustments with the help of all great charts, impressive graphs and slides full of powerful numbers and bullet points, and then waiting again, without applying any of the “to dos” with the fear that the uncharted territory will bring more pain than gain? We call it “playing safe”, but is it not the opposite?

Already 2500 years ago Heraclitus knew that the only constant is change. Let’s go further and admit that the alternative is not stability, it is stagnation and deterioration. The story of humanity from any angle, may it be social, political, economic, or technology, is the story of change. 

In the last couple of years, we’ve observed an enormous shift in how businesses think and operate. In the past, if an organization wanted to bring something new to the market, or just make iteration to the existing offering, it involved a lot of resources, from time, to people, to supporting infrastructure. Most of the ideas were left on paper, lucky if they got to the white board level. Only a handful, after cumbersome fight with processes, budget restrictions, people and their egos, got to see the daylight. Even less survived the market trial, while something much better prospecting was most likely collecting the proverbial dust. Change was a luxury that only a few dared to afford without risking their jobs. 

Oh how the times have changed. This is especially visible at conferences such as The Next Web which took place last week in Amsterdam. We are living in the age of creators whose reign is possible thanks to the raise of cloud, mobile, social and big data. Out of those four I dare to say that the cloud is the engine fueling the growth of the other three. The possibility of deploying infrastructure on demand without long term commitments, anywhere in the world, and with an option to scale it up and down on the fly, significantly decreased the fear of failure. Because interestingly enough, people are not risk averse, they are loss averse. So lately, actually failing fast and moving on has become a business model for those most progressive. Failure is a success if it brings you closer to reaching your goal. The time to market has shortened. Within months the ideas can be transformed into prototypes ready for trial in real world as opposite to guestimation-based lab environment. Armed with the power of on-demand services, organizations can embrace the change on a daily basis, with no fear of fiasco-stigma and without putting innovation on hold. 

The other thrilling phenomena is that nowadays the creators are people who use to be in the shadow, mainly taking instructions from the “management” and spinning the hamster wheel they were put it. The greatest change is seeing developers, the ‘IT crowd’, who no longer sit in the basements of their offices, lead this new technology revolution. They are the ones disrupting the economies and remodeling the markets they operate within and serve. They create new revenue strings, becoming driving forces within their organizations or rolling out their own businesses as startup founders. There is a whole new breed of technology entrepreneurs thriving on what cloud offers them. 

So what comes next? Because we know there is a “next”, that’s for certain. My prediction is that now it’s time for evolution, moving from a sandbox stage to proficiency, from playing around with building another mobile app pop star that will be like Pinterest just for cats, and after months of humongous success will disappear from the web forever. The bubble is close to bursting and the APPocalypse has already begun. How many apps that allow you to join a network of people that like strawberry jam can there be?   The future belongs to those who will embrace the technology at advanced level. It will be no longer about any innovation, but about bringing meaningful change and building value at industrial scale. Smart cities, connected devices, internet of things, cognitive computing – all results of daring experiments, bold decisions and not dreading the stumbles and falls that will come. This transition will rely on powerful compute and network resources, a cloud that will be ready for heavy-duty workloads. We’re not talking virtual instances only anymore, but deployable on the go bare metal servers that guarantee most optimum I/O speed of the disks and network, that don’t split storage, RAM and CPU between multiple tenants. With such volume of data that needs to be collected and processed real-time there will be no space for compromise. 

Now more than ever success cannot come from organizations and people that stand still. This is a truly propitious time to try, fail fast, learn and ultimately succeed. As long as the builders of tomorrow will be smart about their focus, choice of partners and technology they decide to depend, the world is their oyster. Markets change, methods change, so to stay ahead of the curve, you must change before you have to. And the great news is: you can. 

About the Author

Michalina is responsible for IBM SoftLayer’s marketing in the EMEA region. For close to a decade, she has worked with a whole spectrum of businesses, from corporate tycoons to startup founders. She has been part of the market’s transition from traditional IT model to empowered 3rd platform of Cloud, Big Data and Mobile. Michalina is International Relationships MsC and International Strategic Marketing & Export Management graduate.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Action needed to tackle stalled social mobility

How global tech companies can champion ethical AI

Why the world needs systems leadership, not selfish leadership

Europe’s moment: Repair and prepare for the next generation

Statement by Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, on the announcement to postpone the COP26

EU-U.S. trade talks – one year on, Commission presents progress report

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: updates from the Near East and Libya, Ebola in DR Congo, World War remembrance

Guterres calls for ‘maximum restraint’ following drone assault on key Saudi oil facility

Blockchain will make sure green pledges aren’t just greenwash: a new initiative by young leaders at the World Economic Forum

Meet Alice, the battery-powered plane that could herald the age of electric air travel

Technology companies have power. They must assume responsibility

3 megatrends for the factories of the future

Meet Cipta: the comic book hero using her powers to tackle bullying in schools

COVID-19 not yet a pandemic, says UN health agency chief

How revealing the cost of coal makes us all better off

The global economy is woefully unprepared for biological threats. This is what we need to do

France and Poland to block David Cameron’s plans on immigration

Is the ECB ready to flood Eurozone with freshly printed money?

How the EU crisis hit countries saved the German and French mega-banks from bankruptcy and still pay the costs

Eurozone’s central bank leadership prepares for shoddier prospects

Sudzha gas metering station at Russian-Ukrainian border (Copyright: Gazprom, 2015 / Gazprom’s website, Media)

Gazprom starts suspending gas contracts with Ukraine as Brussels fears limited transit to Europe

Spain locks down, Denmark shuts borders – today’s COVID-19 updates and expert analysis

The West cannot ignore Russia; dazed Germany sitting on the fence

European Commission and four online marketplaces sign a Product Safety Pledge to remove dangerous products

Deep fakes could threaten democracy. What are they and what can be done?

As urbanisation grows, cities unveil sustainable development solutions on World Day

Five ways to increase trust in e-commerce

UN chief condemns terror attack in Kismayo, Somalia

More women and girls needed in the sciences to solve world’s biggest challenges

The good news on pensions: sustainable equals profitable

EU Visa Policy: Commission welcomes agreement to strengthen EU visa rules

Better sanitation for India is in the pipeline

Migration crisis update: Greece could probably say goodbye to Schengen really soon

10 expert predictions for the next decade in Chinese AI

European Commission statement on the adoption of the new energy lending policy of the European Investment Bank Group

Deutsche Bank again in the middle of the US-EU economic skirmishes

Handwashing is saving lives – but for too many people, it remains a luxury

It’s a lie Eurozone isn’t competitive

State aid: Commission approves €400 million of public support for very high-speed networks in Spain

Can North Korea and the U.S. strike a nuclear deal?

Great Reset: Why LGBT+ inclusion is the secret to cities’ post-pandemic success

DR Congo elections: ‘historic opportunity’ for ‘peaceful transfer of power’ says Security Council

Half of the world’s population lack access to essential health services – are we doing enough?

UN underscores the need to celebrate indigenous peoples, not confine them

Draghi reserved about Eurozone’s growth prospects

Ferry capsizes near Mosul, UN chief offers solidarity, support ‘as needed’

The European brain drain and the deteriorating medical workforce

Foreign Investment Screening: new European framework to enter into force in April 2019

Timor-Leste Foreign Minister highlights value of UN in resolving conflicts

Human Rights Day celebrates ‘tremendous activism’ of the world’s young people

What the Corn Laws tell us about Brexit Britain

Data protection: Commission decides to refer Greece and Spain to the Court for not transposing EU law

Investing in working conditions and quality jobs

The 28 EU leaders unable to start a relevant debate on migration and Brexit

Why sustainable manufacturing makes economic as well as ethical sense

This forgotten element could be the key to our green energy future. Here’s why

From UN Assembly podium, Central African Republic leader appeals for lifting arms embargo

Wages are flatlining around the world – is automation to blame?

Statement by Cecilia Malmström, Member of the EC in charge of Trade, on the successful conclusion of the final discussions on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) – Brussels, 08 Dec 2017. (Copyright: European Union; Source: EC - Audiovisual Service; Photo: Georges Boulougouris)

The EU and Japan seal free trade pact that will cover 30% of global GDP

Can collective action cure what’s ailing our food systems?

More Stings?

Advertising

Comments

  1. I couldn’t resist commenting. Perfectly written!

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s