We’ve frequently characterized enterprise organizational planning for information technology as a “dysfunctional” process. There are many free resources which can be used to either affirm or refute our characterizations. Blogs that include interviews with IT planners from large organizations are an excellent resource for this type of information. For example, we read with interest Q&A: Jack Israel on FBI Sentinel and federal IT development shortcomings. We think that Mr. Israel’s comments lend substantial credibility to our characterization: “I’ve been in IT development in government for over 10 years. It started at NSA, then 5 years at the FBI, and I finished about a year at DHS. I grew very frustrated working on large IT programs. Because, by and large, I came to believe that these programs just don’t work.”
This type of candid assessment of marketplace realities provides invaluable data. Simply consider how useful these observations ought to be for innovative tech businesses focused on enterprise markets. After all, once Mr. Israel’s observations are carefully digested, these businesses ought to be able to create/modify/replace sales plans as required to better project the length of likely sales cycles. As well, these businesses will have important information on hand that can be used to forecast the number of quality leads that ought to be in process to ensure adequate revenue flow while deals slowly close over time. Further, this type of information should also prove to be very useful for product marketers who need to balance market pricing against sales and marketing costs.
The kind of major IT plan characterized by the FBI’s Sentinel program is usually included in a 5 year plan. As a public organization the FBI provides a Information Technology Strategic Plan FY 2010 – 2015. Obviously 5 years is a very long time to wait to close a deal, therefore, businesses looking to compete in this type of market ought to carefully plan the resources required to go the distance as these plans are conceptualized, break down, regroup and, ideally at some point, come to fruition.
We think Mr. Israel’s point that “. . . [i]t doesn’t matter who you are, because unless you can logically break them down into very small pieces . . .” failure is a likely scenario is quite accurate. As well, this points out an opportunity for businesses who want this type of market to look for opportunities to participate within the “very small pieces” that make up the overall IT plan for the enterprise. In fact, the IT implementations that take place within these pieces can deliver the level of revenue required to fuel a business for the long haul as the larger plan takes shape (or fails to do so).
If your business simply must have a seat at the enterprise IT table you ought to very carefully review the information included in Mr. Israel’s interview, along with the FBI 5 year plan. If you would like some advice on how to proceed, then please contact us. Telephone Ira Michael “Mike” Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion. You may also email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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