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.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

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

From drone swarms to modified E. Coli: say hello to a new wave of cyberattacks

Grexit no longer a threat but how to manage a “tutti frutti” government if not with fear?

Cybersecurity needs a holistic approach. Here are three ways to build protection

Can Pakistan make its energy sector greener, cheaper and more reliable? The government thinks so

Zhua Zhou: Choosing The Future

From Russia with love: Brussels and Moscow close to an agreement on Ukraine’s gas supplies

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s speech from World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of New Champions

South Africa still hasn’t won LGBTQ+ equality. Here are 5 reasons why

Vestager vs. Google: a fight to ensure a competitive innovation framework

Is the world living up to its climate commitments?

These 11 EU states already meet their 2020 renewable energy targets

Madagascar villagers learn dangers of outdoor defecation

Yemen: Major UN aid boost for ‘up to 14 million’ as country risks becoming a land of ‘living ghosts’

TTIP wins Merkel’s endorsement ahead of 2016 tough deadline

Yanis Varoufakis: “Unsustainable debt turns the creditor into Leviathan; Life under it is becoming nasty, brutish and short”

Sherpa climbers carried out the highest-ever spring clean. This is what they found

Defence: European Commission paves the way for first joint industrial projects under EU budget

A Sting Exclusive: “Youth voice must be heard in climate change negotiations!”, Bérénice Jond Board Member of European Youth Forum demands from Brussels

A Sting Exclusive: “The competitiveness of Europe depends on a digital single market”, EPP President Joseph Daul highlights live from European Business Summit 2015

Parliament approves €34m in EU aid to Greece, Poland, Lithuania and Bulgaria

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

UN calls for support to implement Central Africa’s newly minted peace agreement

How climate change exacerbates the refugee crisis – and what can be done about it

Denmark’s last circus elephants are retiring – here’s what might take their place

Governments urged to put first ever UN global migration pact in motion, post-Marrakech

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

Facebook/Cambridge Analytica: MEPs pursue personal data breaches probe

UN chief welcomes possibility of resumed talks between US and North Korea

The Sino-American trade conflict may be resolved soon

Gender disparity in salary and promotion in medicine: still a long way to go

Oh, well, you are wrong, Google responds to the European Commission

Climate Change: A Healthcare Emergency

Why will Paris upcoming “loose” climate change agreement work better than the previous ones?

Releasing trapped value is key to success in the digital world

The historic accomplishment of a seamless EU patent and intellectual property space

Brexiteer May gets lip-service from Trump and Turkish promises from Erdogan

How do we build trust between humans and AI?

COP21 Breaking News_05 December: UN Secretary-General Announces “Climate Action 2016” Partnership

The European Brain Drain: a truth or a myth?

Young? You should work out the entrepreneurial heart before the mind

These countries are home to the highest proportion of refugees in the world

Is the European Banking Union an impossible task?

More attacks, ‘persisting security challenges’ threaten progress in West Africa, Sahel

eGovernmnet for more efficiency, equality and democracy

How Sierra Leone is using 3D printing to become a model state

Public opinion misled by the Commission on air transport safety

Major UN aid operation for 650,000 gets underway across Syria-Jordan border

Sign language protects ‘linguistic identity and cultural diversity’ of all users, says UN chief

MEPs take stock of the EU’s foreign, security and defence policy priorities

Prospect of negotiated peace in Afghanistan ‘never been more real’ – UN mission chief

Schengen: MEPs adopt their position on temporary checks at national borders

China hails human rights progress amid calls to close detention camps

The role of employers in the post #MeToo era

Failing to see reality or deceiving the masses? The EU about poverty and social exclusion

Hunger and obesity in Latin America and the Caribbean compounded by inequality: UN report

‘Complacency’ a factor in stagnating global vaccination rates, warn UN health chiefs

European Parliament gives green light to Christine Lagarde

The glimmers of hope in the latest dire climate report

Teenage girl’s death sentence spotlights Sudan’s failure to tackle forced marriage, gender-based violence – UN rights office

More Stings?

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