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20 years!

In June of 1994, IAS was founded on the premise that customers deserved to have a partner who would work hard for them, to demonstrate technical excellence, to provide leading solutions that made sense technically and economically and above all to do so with a high degree of integrity.  It has been and is a great journey that we are on.

We have grown, we have changed and while our core values are the same, what we do today, 20 years later is different than it was in 1994 and I expect that will be different 5 years from now as well.

A freshened up website, a new blog… and their is a key concept I think about when it comes to blogs; they generally have a theme – they are not a catch all for spurious thought.  That happens certainly, but even then, it is a good idea to have those thoughts orbit around a central concept.  I like to think of this as gravity for my thoughts, the thing that constantly pulls me back to one solid thread that regardless of context is central and relevant.  As I was thinking about this blog and a theme, I note that in our world of technology at the intersection of business and culture, that change is the driver for what we do.  Our customers seek to not just keep the lights on; rather they realize that they must change to remain relevant, as we have for the past 20 years.  Your technology choices, consumption preferences and the degree of alignment with your respective lines of business must change.

Our partners seek change as well, to bring new, innovative solutions and offerings to a market looking for a better, more sophisticated and efficient ways of running their businesses.  Our partners must read the tea leaves of the many transitions occurring in the market and change not just their offerings but review their business practices, strategies and which bets to place on the future.

We, IAS, must change as well…we are really good at what we do, but ultimately our ability to change with our customers and partners will determine our relevance and success.  Our website is refreshed, changed if you will.  We have more involvement in social media and we are cooking up new offerings, partnerships and capabilities that we certainly hope are relevant to you.  We will still have the same depth and breadth of the offerings that you know us for, and a few new ones along the way.  In a changing world, some things do remain the same; regardless of change, you will always know us for integrity, ethics, technical competency and an insane passion for our customers.

Change is necessary and it happens regardless of any thing we do or not.   Perhaps an interesting anecdotal observation is that of the original 1955 list of Fortune 500 companies, only 71 remain today (Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, Built To Last [Harper, 1994]), only 1/3 of the Fortune 500 that were listed in 1970 were still listed in 1983 (Arie de Geus, The Living Company [Longview, 1997]) and from 1999 to 2009, almost 50% of the Fortune 500 companies fell off of the list (Toby Elwin).  It is easy to see that the market we are in now… frankly the world we are in now is undergoing change at an incredibly fast pace.   John Chambers calls it, the “Pace of Change Squared.”  The good news is that change, if taken advantage of, leads to more opportunity.   As history so clearly demonstrates from the changes noted above, to survive you must change.

We at IAS embrace the changes that are taking place.  We must all manage carefully our individual organizations changes to be in a better position to thrive in the current and coming economy.  We are doing a lot of work to help us all avoid missteps, bad bets and overly focusing on just a few things.  We want to partner with you on this journey and transition because we are in it with you.  There are fundamental shifts and disruptive technologies that we would love to discuss and which will be topics for this blog to cover; Cloud/Fog computing, Big Data, Flash, Converged Infrastructure, the Software Defined Data Center and Enterprise and a plethora of other topics.

With all of the change that is ongoing, it is easy to get caught up in hype; the fact is that transforming your company, our company, is to recognize that small, deterministic steps and choices will be the bulk of what change looks like.  We would love to engage with you to develop your road map and a schedule to implement these changes; we look forward to partnering with you as we change together.

Perhaps the start is realizing that no matter what your “business” is, what your product, service or offerings are, that in the end we are all technology companies first that happen to provide something to our markets.  My supposition is that when IT is thought of as ITaaS then some really great things can happen in your business.

Let’s figure this out together, the ride will be fun!