Create New Options at OpenWorld

Guest Post by Frank Buytendijk, Vice President and Fellow, Oracle


Attendees often visit trade shows to make the right choices for the future. But investment cycles are long and the lifecycle of new technologies is only getting shorter. There is a good chance you'll need to accommodate technologies in your architecture in a year or two that don't even exist right now. Your users will come up with requirements you can't foresee. How can you make the right choice today when you know that the future will look different?

By all means, visit all the OpenWorld sessions that discuss the roadmap and features of the products you use. But also try to attend other sessions. Not the ones that will help you make the right choices, but the ones that will create future options. After all, "creating options" is what a modern IT strategy is all about. The future is unpredictable, and all you can do is be ready for it. That is why I have two pieces of advice for you:

  • Look at options generated by combining systems. If you're a CRM user, check out what OpenWorld is offering on supply chain management. The combination of the two enables the option for the company to connect demand and supply chain, and introduce customer self-service, dynamic stock reallocation, and integrated business planning. If you're an SCM user, also investigate human capital management. The combination will help you with governance, risk, and compliance (GRC), as it enables segregation of duties in the whole value chain. In short: Look at your footprint, identify the adjacent areas, and attend those sessions to create new business options.
  • Attend some sessions that focus on "fringe technologies."Oracle offers many innovative, new technologies that you might not know about. Perhaps you don't feel like being on the leading edge, but some knowledge of where things are going will help your decision-making for current projects. You'll know which roads not to close off when you're deciding on architecture, functionality, and implementation paths. You'll keep your options open.

... and, while I have your attention, I'd like to promote my new book that will premiere at OpenWorld, called Dealing with Dilemmas. It actually describes in detail how to keep your options open in strategic decision-making. Check out the bookstore, show up at my book signing, or visit one of my own presentations.

Looking forward to seeing you in San Francisco.


P.S. Here's some good reading on "options" in the meantime:

A Strategic View on Oracle: Creating Options

Return on IT: Measuring Agility


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