Emerging and Disruptive Technologies in the Workplace1 H 21 M
Take a look at how businesses implement emerging and disruptive technologies. While the risk may be high, the competitive advantage can solidify an organization's hold in the marketplace.
- Emerging Technologies
- Introduction to the STREET Process
- STREET Process Example
Introduction to the STREET Process
- Episode Description
In this episode, Daniel and Don introduce you to the Gartner STREET process, which is used to evaluate the viability of a new technology's integration into your environment.
Welcome to ITPROTV. [CROSSTALK] >> You're watching ITPROTV. >> All right, greetings everyone, and welcome to another great episode of ITPROTV. I'm your host Daniel Lowrie, and in today's episode we're gonna take a look at emerging technology, specifically the Gartner STREET process. Joining us in the studio to help lend his expertise on that topic, our good friend, Mr. Don Pezet. Don, welcome to the show, sir. How's it going today? >> It is going great, Daniel. Ready to dive right into this one. And for those of you that aren't familiar with it, the Gartner STREET process is really a neat framework that helps us to evaluate emerging technologies, to determine whether or not they're right for our organization. And so in this episode, we're gonna run through that process. We're gonna learn about the different steps, kinda see what's involved, and help us to make better decisions when it comes to evaluating, and ultimately selecting, an emerging technology to put it in use inside of our company. >> All right, well Don, we've thrown around that term, emerging technologies. I think a good place to start would be, what is an emerging technology? >> All right, and that's really important, because this whole course is about that. But Gartner actually has a very specific definition for what they feel is an emerging technology. So let me bring up here on my system what their official definition is for an emerging technology. It is those technologies that are not yet mature in the marketplace and so entail a higher-than-average risk. Right, we could translate that as meaning anything new. >> [LAUGH] >> If there's something new that has only been out for a brief while, it's cutting edge, bleeding edge technology. It might be great. It might be the next big thing. But for every great success that's out there, there are failures, and usually a lot of failures. And there's nothing worse than making a substantial financial investment in a technology, only to have it collapse and no longer be in use, no longer be relevant. >> Now, Don, is emerging technologies the same as disruptive technologies? >> I'm glad you mentioned that, Daniel, cuz the two terms, they get interchanged a lot. You'll see a lot of sites and texts that'll actually just use them synonymously. And they are actually different, right? Subtly different, but they are different. So there's not really an official disruptive technology definition, but Margaret Rouse had a really good definition for it. She said it's one that displaces an established technology and shakes up the industry or a ground-breaking product that creates a completely new industry, right? And if you think about that, every now and then, there's something that comes out that really changes the way that people do business, that really just completely shakes up an industry. So, for example, take universities, right? When I was in college, you physically went to the university, and attended class right there. The professor was in the room with you. And that's how you learned. And that was the only option. There were no other choices. But, look at university students today. We have so many choices available to you. You can do online training. You can do in person. You can do hybrid, where it's both. You can do synchronous and asynchronous, so many different choices. And a lot of that is due to disruptive technologies, ones that came and really shuffled up that marketplace. You'll see technologies like electronic cars, where you had the Toyota Prius or the Tesla, where it's fully electric. What's that doing to the oil industry? It's really disrupting their business model. And eventually it'll ultimately destroy that business model. That's disruptive. But an emerging technology doesn't have to be disruptive, right? Every disruptive technology was emerging at some point, right? So you can kind of use that interchangeably. But every emerging technology is not necessarily disruptive. Sometimes there's new things that come out that they make life better. They help you achieve your goal, but it's still the same goal, it's still the same process. It didn't really disrupt. So be careful with those two terms. So they are subtly different in the way they can be used and the way that they mean. >> All right, Don. Well, how does the STREET process help us when dealing with emerging technologies? >> All right, well, the STREET process actually breaks this up into six different steps, right, it's a framework. And it's designed for you to step through it, step by step, to evaluate a new technology that's out there. And so I've got up here on the screen that the STREET process and kind of the way that it lays out. And let me just do a quick high level overview of it, and then we'll kinda dive into each step in a little more detail, right? Basically, we start with what's called the scope step. And the scope step is where we start to evaluate what our business need is, right? Every company has needs, and you might be able to do something better if you had certain technologies. You're not even worried about what the technology is at this point. Just what is my need? And from there, we go into track. And we can track new, emerging technologies, right? What's new? What's out there in the industry? What might be able to meet a business need? What aligns with my scope? And see how the arrows go back and forth, right? I might have a business need, and I look for a solution. And that's tracking, right? Or I might find a solution, and then look for the business need. I might go the other way around. >> [LAUGH] >> Somebody comes to me and says, Don, if you're not using product x, you're really doing yourself a disservice- >> You're talking about a hammer looking for a nail right? [LAUGH] >> Yeah, exactly! And so I need to go back and look at my scope and then see, could I have that? Or maybe I need to reevaluate my scope. Maybe my company's vision of the future is no longer the future. And I need to say, all right, if we're going to stay relevant, how do we need to change and adapt? Now, once we've evaluated some technologies that are out there, we move into rank. And in the rank step, that's where we start looking, cuz there's maybe more than one solution, right? So, which one is gonna be better for us? We need to rank them, and categorize them, quantify, qualify, all the statistical things that we like to do, and the just business case evaluation. All those things that we use to rank and determine which solution is going to be the best. And that's gonna result in innovation candidates. These are all potential technologies that we could deploy. Some may be great. Some may be poor. Some may have a future, some may not. We don't necessarily know. It's not until we get to the evaluate step that we really find out. This is where we do our deep research. We really look into the technology and try and answer any unanswered question, so that we can make a decision. Once we make a decision, we evangelize. We promote that technology inside of our company. You wanna make sure that your employees, your key stakeholders, your managers, that they all agree that this is a good technology. They wanna use it, they wanna make the company better by using it. If you don't have buy in from the employees, it doesn't matter what tools you give them or resources you give them. If they don't use them, it's not going to succeed. And then at the end, we have transfer. Transfer is where the team that kind of selected this technology hands off control of it to someone else, right? In the project management world, all of the STREET process will be applied as a project, and then after the project is done, it becomes what's called an ongoing operation. Somebody else takes over, and now they run through it routinely and use it. That's what transfer is all about. And the person we transfer to may come from within the team that does the selection, it may be a completely different person. But we transfer it off and then we move on to selecting our next product, right, our next emerging technology. So that's a high level overview of how the STREET process works. And each step is designed to help us take what could be a big problem or a big risk, and break it up into pieces so it becomes manageable. We can make smart decisions along the way, and ultimately make better decisions. >> All right, Don, we've seen the theory behind this little STREET process of yours. How does that look when we go onto the field? Can you give us an example of that? >> All right, so let's create a fictitious company here. We're gonna do Rite Inspection Software, right? They're a company, and they make inspection software for doing home inspections, right? And their software is designed where people can go out in the field, they can evaluate homes, or whatever, come up with the building inspection, store it in a database, and share that with their customer. Now this company is a mid-size company, they're a Type B organization. And what that means is they're not afraid to take risks. But they won't take a risk unless they can actually justify it right? They got to have a business case. There's some companies, some people like, who's that? Richard Branson, the Virgin guy? >> The Virgin guy, yeah. >> He'll take risks all over the place because he's got a ton of money, right? >> [LAUGH] >> And he knows the bigger the risk the bigger the reward. But for most companies not taking risk is not really an option because then you stagnate. You don't grow and eventually you'll become obsolete. So a medium sized company will often fall into this type B area where they will take risk as long as they can justify it somehow. And if they choose to take the risk they've already got the corporate skills and culture to be able to take advantage of that, right? Small companies don't normally have the corporate skills to do that. A medium size or larger would. So what they need is a solution for a problem. And their problem doesn't come from management. In this case their problem is actually coming from the bottom of the company. It's coming from the workers, and the SYS admins, and the people who are running this software package. And they come and they say, look we have a problem with storage. We have our servers and they all have independent storage arrays or we might have SANS, storage area networks setup. And there's different vendors and it's not mixed while it's becoming very difficult to manage that. So we need to find some better way to manage the storage for our data center, before we grow so large that it becomes unmanageable and we ultimately have some kind of failure as a result. So, they need to think about solutions that could take care of the storage problem, that align with their business goals. That's really important. Any solution, any emerging technology that we adopt should somehow contribute to our business goals. And Rite Inspection Software? Has four simple goals, right? These are things they print, they stick on their wall, it's on the back of their business card. These are the goals they attest to. One they wanna delight their customers, right? When customers use their software they should be happy to use it, right? It shouldn't be an uncomfortable. >> I like that one. [LAUGH] >> Like any government website. >> Yeah. >> So [LAUGH] >> It should be a pleasure to use. Two, they wanna seek innovative solutions to promise, right? They don't mind taking a risk. They don't mind thinking outside of the box to find a solution, so that makes them a good candidate for selecting emerging technology. They wanna foster a positive work environment. All right? So any storage solution that I find should be making people's jobs better. Where it's not a misery for them to have to deal with the storage arrays that are in place. It should be pleasant for them. And it should improve efficiencies in all procedures. Now, when we're talking about technology hardware? This is probably the easiest one to meet. If we can make people more efficient, if they can deploy storage or work with disks, if queries on a database run faster because storage was apportioned a different way, that's an easy thing to measure. And that goal we'll find is one of the easiest to align with. But, ideally we'll align with more than one goal. And that's how we know we've got a perfect fit when we have a solution that meets that model. If we just meet one goal though, that's enough, but in a perfect world we'd like to have a little more. So, these are the goals and at first glance they might not look like IT goals, but they are, right? Really all of this can be applied to IT. We want to delight our customers. Well, every second that your software is up and working delights your customer. Every moment your software is down and not working makes your customer pretty unhappy. >> Yes, it does. >> So IT has a great way of affecting the customer right there. >> [LAUGH] >> And [LAUGH] so, that puts it into an IT perspective. Now, the solution they're looking for is storage. And if you do any searching out there on the Internet for storage, you'll find that the current buzzword of the day Is software defined storage. And actually it's software defined networking, software defined anything. >> Yeah. >> It's really, you'll see some people are SDX, software defined x, cuz you could do whatever. This is a new technology that is out that a lot of companies are evaluating right now, a lot of companies have already gone with it and selected. But for a medium sized company. A company that's still managing their money frugally trying to reinvest in the company, this could be a big financial risk because it can be expensive. And with software defined networking the idea is that instead of managing all of your storage hardware individually, you can have some kind of centralized face. A centralized software that manages all of the storage. So when I wanna assign 2TB of storage to a database server, I don't really care what hardware Raid it's on whether it's Raid 5 or Raid 3 or anything like that. I'm not worried about that. I just go in and I say give me 2TB storage, stick it on the server. And the software defined storage handles that for us software defined networking is very similar for defining network and so we see this in other areas. If you've ever deployed anything on Amazon web services or Microsoft Azure, those cloud technologies they use software defined storage. You say I wanna speed up a virtual machine with 2TB of storage you have no idea what idea is underneath. That makes you more efficient, it makes you able to deploy storage more quickly because you're not worried about what's under the hood. And from a purchaser perspective, it makes it easier to purchase hardware. Because you can have a mixture of hardware, you can go with the better priced hardware and not have to stay with one ecosystem, because there's a single management interface that's controlling the whole thing. Now, this is not something that your CEO is gonna think of. The CEO is not sitting there going, I wish we could apportion storage much more, you know? >> [LAUGH] Yeah. >> In most companies you're not gonna have that, right? They're thinking, how can we improve our bottom line? What is our current P&L? That's what's CEO's typically worry about. So this is the type of thing that gets driven from the bottom of the company. From the actual workers. The people who are in the field, who are doing what's needing to be done to create the product, right? And that's where you'll oftentimes find where these emerging technologies come from. Because it might not be on our radar as a manager, or as a C-level executive. It might not be on our radar, but to the people actually doing the work, they hear about these technologies and are like, man. It sure would be great if I had that. Then we want to aim to improve operating efficiency, right? How can they make their job easier? How can they get things done faster? Because the faster they can get things done, either one, it makes our customers happy because it got done faster, or two, it makes this where we can handle more customers, right? Which would really be ideal. You grow the business that way. You need to have scalability. So when we deploy something like software defined network, we got to make sure that it meets these requirements that it does these things to help improve our business, our business case. Hopefully we can reduce our operating costs. >> That's a big one, that's a nice selling point right there right? [LAUGH] >> Especially when you're talking storage right? >> Yeah. >> Because it can get expensive, and when you're managing so many different devices. You've gotta have training, you've gotta have warranties with different providers. It does become a big cost. And then lastly, if we deploy with a cloud technology like Microsoft Azure or Amazon AWS, with those guys. There's certain redundancies that you get, right? If I have a storage appliance right here in the building with me I need a UPS, it needs battery power so it can still run when the power is out. I need a backup generator, if the power outage is a long one the battery doesn't last very long so I need a generator to run it. I need physical security, I need all sorts of different thing like that that I would have to pay for in their entirety. But when you go with a cloud provider, you're sharing that cost across all the cloud provider's customers. And they'll have generators and UPSs, they'll have redundant networks, they'll have a network operation center that's monitoring the equipment, and you just pay a small portion. So not only do you reduce cost, but you increase benefit. You get a much more stable architecture by going with something like this, if you can, if it's a right fit for your company. So this is the scenario company that I'm gonna use as we run through the street process in this episode. So Rite Inspection Software is looking at software defined networking. And then trying to figure out whether or not it's right for them and what they're going to do. >> All right, Don. So I guess that leaves the question of what do we do in the scope step? >> All right. So the scope step is the very first step inside of the STREET process. STREET is an acronym, right? So we'll go through S, T, R, E, E, T, that's the SCOPE, and with scope we're not even really thinking about the solution just yet. We're thinking about us as a company, right? We're thinking about our business needs, what do we need to get things done, right? So, the official governor definition here for scope is. We provide a business focus and context for emerging technology investments by identifying what organizational purposes should be served. So notice here it's not saying we wanna find an emerging technology. It's saying we want to create a context for an emerging technology. We need to come up with a list of business needs that an emerging technology could address. And that technology might not exist. I might have five needs, and no one technology that addresses those needs. But as I hear about new technologies, I might find one that addresses the first two of my needs. The other three are still left open, so I'll have to keep looking, but I might not find one perfect product. It may be several products combined, that meet all of my needs. But I need to know what my needs are before we get started. There's a lot of businesses that make a big mistake here. Which is deploying a technology just for the sake of having that technology. We need to actually have a business need for, it needs to improve us somehow. We don't wanna just look flashy and- >> It gives us something to do, Don [LAUGH]. >> There's something to be said about bragging rights. Maybe we just need to brag about having some technology. But maybe that's our need then. We have a marketing need to say that we- >> Are on the bleeding edge. >> Yeah, that we launched our product into space. It might not actually serve our customers at all. But we do it anyway cuz you get some marketing, there might be a need there. For Right Inspection Software, they're doing home inspection software. So, what are their business needs? Well maybe they've identified a problem that whenever they sign on a new customer they have to deploy a virtual server and that process takes a day. So, you get a brand-new customer who's signing up that's hot to trot ready to get going. And they have to wait 24 hours before they can get started. That puts a cooldown. So wouldn't it be nice if somebody could sign up for their product and be ready to go instantaneously. If we could already have a virtual server with storage all deployed ready to go and there, as soon as they put their credit card information in they're ready to start. That would be great. That would improve the customer happiness. It would improve our bottom line. It would make things more efficient. It would really be a great thing to have, but we don't have those capabilities right now. So we're looking for those needs and kind of building them out and figuring out what we've got to have in place to do that. >> Makes me think of Amazon, how the two-day Prime shipping, amazing stuff. Everybody loves it. But there's still that part of me that says I'd like to have it today, so they started coming out with that same day shipping. Getting it in the exact same day in certain cities, and they are continually expanding that operation. Hopefully, one day it will come to my city. [LAUGH] >> [LAUGH] >> I'm sure it will. But, is that the same kind of idea, where they saw that need and used the scope, can you do that? >> Absolutely, you're looking for a need that you have as a company. Now, you mentioned a need that a customer might have, a customer might want that faster. Now, the customers want becomes our want if we want to keep that customer, so it's easy to get in. And in this case of software defined networking, or software defined storaging, I said that it came from the bottom of the company. It came from the employees wanting it. In your example, it came from the customer. Sometimes, the customer will tell you what your business need is. And if you choose to meet it, you stay relevant, you stay dominant in your category. And if you choose not to meet it, somebody else will. And now you've missed out. So having that scope is a big thing, that we need to constantly be living in it. That it evolves, we add to it, we change our scope as our business changes. It's not something that's chiseled in stone. >> [LAUGH]. >> This is the one thing that we do. So that's important. Now as a part of this process, we're having to evaluate a lot of that data, to figure out what all is going on. And there's a number of other different techniques that get put in place here, as this is getting done, things like a competitive analysis. Look at what is your competition doing? If you were to use this technology, how would it make you better than your competition? Would you be more competitive if you had this particular technology deployed, versus if you didn't. So competitive analysis. There's visioning. What do you see it being like? If your company deploys this technology for Right Software Incorporated, if they have software designed storage, what's that gonna look like to them? Will they be able to deploy a customer solution in five minutes, as opposed to 24 hours? Because if so that would be great, that would be an amazing thing. But, we have to have a vision of what that solution will be like. Then we need scenario building. How are our end users going to make use of this technology? When they actually have it in place, what's the scenario look like? How will we go through? Does it actually look better? And you'll find that a lot of technologies have a marketing slick that goes with them that says, this is the greatest technology ever. You definitely need this. But what does that look like for you? Let me just give you an example here. I'm gonna pull up. Let's pretend like we were shopping. Software defined storage can be really simple. Like Dropbox. I need storage. I go and I sign up with Dropbox, it's I don't know, $100 a year or something like that and then you get a terabyte of storage and there you go. But it's not super well defined what's going on here. So for example, Dropbox For Business where they tell you, you get unlimited storage. All right, all my storage needs are now solved. Or is it? If I look at my vision of how I would deploy it. All right, I have a database server. And the database server needs two terabytes of storage. I can't put a database in Dropbox and use it. It doesn't work that way. So I have to know how it works. I have to learn a little more about the product. And if I start going to the other vendors that are out there. If I go to Dell. Well, Dell will chat with me. Let me get rid of that. >> [LAUGH] >> If I go to Dell, I can transform my infrastructure with software defined storage. Transform. >> Mm. >> What does that even mean? >> [LAUGH] >> It means it's gonna change. Of course it's gonna change, I'm putting something new in. I don't know what that means. And I don't know what my vision of it is. If I automate the deployment of IT services, optimize IT operations, these are the things that they're telling me. These are marketing terms, marketing jargon. >> Yeah. >> So we've got to get a real vision of what we can do. I'm not just picking on Dell. If we go to HP. Eliminate complexity and free your infrastructure from the limitations of dedicated hardware. Great, I didn't [CROSSTALK] >> Know had that problem >> But maybe I do now. >> Yeah. >> Wow, my OnPremises hardware is limiting me. So we need to make sure we understand that. IBM, renovate, what do we need to renovate. Renovate your IT infrastructure to increase capacity and reduce storage costs. All right, well, I can reduce storage costs, that's good. >> That's nice. >> And so how is that going to look for us? And then lastly, we can go Lenovo Revolutionize Storage Economics with Storeselect. So each of these vendors are really advertising software to find storage. But they do it in different way. Each on is a different solution, we need to understand what are vision of this is? What is our perfect world if I had this technology and how would I use it? And then I can start to figure out which one of these guys actually most align with what it is that I'm trying to do. And you might find some of them don't align very well at all. But if you don't even have your vision established, that's going to be a problem. So that's all a part of the scope process. We need to identify any business problems and any business opportunities. Problems are areas that are causing us pain and that we need to fix. Areas that are actively hurting us. Opportunities are areas that aren't necessarily hurting us but we could make better. Maybe my customers are already happy. But if I can make them even more happy where's the value on that? Might mean the customers stay with me longer. It may generate word of mouth or loyalty like you mentioned. It might bring me more customers and other people see our customers are already happy and we did XYZ and they are now even happier. Maybe people didn't mind waiting 24 hours. But when Right Software deploy software find storage. And now they create that customer environment in under a few minutes. That makes people even more impressed with what their capabilities are. These are the things that we evaluate all right here during the scope step. >> Well Don you keep using this word we, we need to do this, and we need to do that. That the thing kept popping into my mind is who exactly is the we that you are referring to? >> What's the saying it's you and the mouse in your pocket or something? >> [LAUGH] >> Yeah the mouse in your pocket that's right [LAUGH]. So we can be several people, right, at this scope step, where this is identifying our business needs. Some of this can come from just the regular workers that are down in the trenches. This could be our customer, but a lot of times, organizations will have what is called an ETG, an Emerging Technology Group. At the scope stage a lot of this is already set up, and we may not even have the ETG built yet. But when we start moving into the other steps, it will be the ETG that actually does the bulk of the work. In the start, if I don't have an ETG, this particular project, the right software group would start with a software development team, right. The software development team, they're the ones who are having to create the software. They're the ones who are having to create these customer environments. And they are the ones who are recognizing that storage is the problem. So they find the issue, they find this problem to solve and create a vision. And then we, as a company, establish an ETG to then take that vision and run with it. And run through the rest of these steps to find the right solution, get it deployed, and then move on to the next one. So an emerging technology group is really the group of people who are gonna do that. >> All right, so once we've established our need, how do we pick a solution? >> All right, so when it comes to picking a solution, this is where things get a little bit tricky, right. What we need to do is move into the track step, and in the track step, what we're doing is seeking out relevant technologies from a broad range of sources. Now, that broad range of sources is really important, I might have a meeting with a Dell rep, the Dell rep comes to the office one day. And says, let me show you what we got, this is amazing, and they show you technology. You're just blown away it aligns with all of your business needs, it's perfect for what you want, okay. You could stop right there and say, I'm just gonna run with this one, sold. But just because one vendor has this perfect solution that you've been presented with right on day one doesn't mean that somebody else isn't doing it better. You need to evaluate the other solutions that are out there, and so in the track phase, this is where we're actually looking for other solutions. And we might not even have a specific problem in mind yet, we do here in this example, and we know exactly what we're looking for, but maybe we don't. Maybe we went through the scope, and we came up with our business needs, and now we've just got a whole list of needs, and I wonder what's out there, right? And so, we go into track, now we're seeking out stuff, we may not have a clue, right, and we just wanna go out and find something. Well, when you're seeking out those technologies, you can be presented with a lot of crazy things, right? Some that are really mature, that are great products that are ready to deploy, like Dell, anything they sell would be a mature product. But there's a lot of stuff you might find on Kickstarter, or Indiegogo, right, that's non-mature, that you don't know, it's a big risk. And so for those, we end up having to be really careful with what's called the hype cycle. The hype cycle is kind of shown here in this chart, and I know it's a little bit hard to read. But every emerging technology goes through a series of phases, the cycle. And the cycle kind of shows almost really the level of risk we would have if we deployed the technology, right? So let's kinda run through this real quick, we start with what's called an innovation trigger, right? Somebody has an idea, there's a problem, I'm gonna fix it, right, what is it, is it see a need and fill it, the old saying? So somebody sees a need and they fill it, they come up with a solution, now that's just them. This is like Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak back in the garage, it's just a small organization, they come up with a solution. And then they start to promote it and get the word out that, hey, we got this new solution, you really want it, and you've got this build up that happens. This whole build up to what's called the peak of inflated expectations. If you don't have something in your hand, it's easy in your mind to build it up to be more than it would be. And what happens when you finally get it in your hands, you get the trough of disillusionment. >> I like that, it sounds like a metal album title or something [LAUGH]. >> It really does, but it's a great way to describe what happens, though. Because in your mind you, build this up as being perfect, and then as soon as you get it, boy, it's not as good. And if you've ever preordered anything, if you've done a Kickstarter, this happens. And as a company if you say, you know what, what if I just waited, what if I waited, and yeah, everybody was hyping this up to be the greatest thing ever. And so by the time we hit the peak, boy it was the greatest, and then if I just waited, and let some people purchase it and then post some reviews and things, I could have learned. And it drops way down here, and now we get what's actually a little bit below reality, what is really the experience of this product. And then after a little while, we get the scope of enlightenment, and scope of enlightenment is, we understand what this product can do. We understand what its limitations are, what it's actually capable of, what our benefits could be if we deployed it. And from there, we can move into what's call the plateau of productivity, this last stage. And this is where we can actually use the technology and get the most benefit out of it, with the right expectations. Now, the challenge with all of this, because it seems easy, you're like, I don't need a chart for this. I'll just wait for the plateau of productivity, that's where I'll buy things. The problem is, if you can identify something early, if I know it's going to make it to the plateau of productivity, I could get in way early, back in the peak of inflated expectations, and actually benefit, and my competition might do that. I don't want to ignore a technology too long and my competition gets in there and gets the business advantage out of it first. So we don't want to ignore technologies early on, but we want to make sure we understand where they're at in this hype cycle, right? If I see a solution, and I know that it has not hit the peak of its expectations yet, if it's not fully inflated, then I know that there's definitely gonna be some disappointment down the road. And as long as we build in for that, build that expectation in ourselves to say like, I know this isn't gonna be as good as they say, then you can still make responsible decisions around it, right? But we need to understand where it falls, and the other risk here is that some products never make it to the plateau of productivity. Sometimes the fall of expectations is so great that the business closes down, that's it. Maybe it's really bad, there's false advertising involved and now lawsuits. Things can happen to stop it from ever making it to that plateau. And if you got invested early in it, now that's going to be a loss for you, right? >> Well, where on this line is supposed to be the pain of litigation? >> [LAUGH] The pain of litigation, that probably spreads the whole thing. The other thing about this, some technologies, it's not that they ever make it to the plateau of productivity, but a better option comes along. They're still moving on, you see, this process may take years, sometimes it takes, a device, an application software, it takes years to get all the way to the plateau of productivity. In the meantime, some competition comes along and just cleans their house, a disruptive technology, right, comes along. And now they become obsolete, before they even made it through, that happens, that happens a lot. We're seeing that now where hybrid cars had their moment, but now all electric cars are coming in. And you're like, why buy a hybrid, I'll go all electric, so that happens a lot. And for right inspection software, when they're going for software to find networking and for software to find storage, and they know that all of these different companies have a solution. Where are they at on the hype cycle, is it far enough along? And we can see right here, kind of in the middle, Software-Defined Anything Is coming down. People are recognizing that yeah, we thought it could do a lot. It's actually not as amazing as we expected. It's gonna a little more disappointing before it's all said and done. But the technology is sound, it is well deployed, it is well established. And so it's gonna be around, it is safe to move into that world. We can see that now because we have better expectations of what's going on, versus if we are way back here at the beginning. Things like neuromorphine hardware. Things like that that are hardware supporting AI and thought that is really cutting edge, really new and we might find it goes nowhere. That happens. Look at virtual reality. Virtual reality's way over here, on the slope of enlightenment. People are learning that virtual reality has certain uses, but I remember back in the 1980s and even in the 90s >> The 90s, yeah. >> When the movie Lawnmower Man came out. >> [LAUGH]. >> And people thought virtual reality, like we were going to live inside of this. And now we realize no, you're going to watch commercials inside of this. >> [LAUGH]. >> So, now you kind of understand what it can do. But it is in its place. 3D movies. 3D movies went around like a ten year cycle. Every ten years they would try and relaunch 3D movies. And they would then fail and disappear and come back again ten years later. That kind of stuff. Eventually, they do take hold. Their cycle might just be longer than other technologies that are out there. >> All right Don, so how does the ETG select between all the options? >> All right, so if you're right inspection and you've identified that you want to do the software and find the network and you did your track. You identified this as an emerging technology, you know where it's at on the hype cycle. Now we need to start evaluating how that can. I shouldn't use the word evaluate. Cuz we actually have an evaluate step. >> [LAUGH]. >> But we can start to take a look and compare the different options that are out there and determine whether or not this is something we should move forward with. And the way we do that is with the next step, which is the rank step. In rank we take a look at the solution. We consider alternative candidates by ranking the technologies and selecting those worthy of immediate attention. We might find ten different emerging technologies that could all benefit us different ways. Not just software to find networking, I might find other things that kind of align with my business needs as well. I need to look at those and determine which one's the best. Just because ten things benefit me, doesn't mean I should do all ten. It might be that the number one, benefits me way more than the other nine all combined. So I need to determine which ones are really gonna benefit me the most. And companies can do this in a number of different ways, but what's really a common one is to use a scorecard methodology. Where you take each solution and you assign it a score, a value, a number based on your company's weighted needs. So what it is that you view as important. And you can do it as just a text scorecard if you want, which is kind of boring. You'll see a lot of people that will do a spider diagram. Now a spider diagram looks like this, so here for this organization they've decided that we need benefit. That's really important to us, that's the one right up here at the top. It needs to benefit the company somehow, right? It needs to align with our scope, our business needs. We need champions to be able to actually manage this solution. We need current activity that needs to support this. Otherwise, it's not worth doing. We want maturity of the application. We need low cost. You may have this need you may not, every company values these things differently. And we can assign a score. Notice how each of these are divided up as five tics each, for 25 total. So, out of 25 points for this particular candidate, what's its cost? And so if it's low cost, it might have five point, or maybe scaled higher, depending on how we measure this. So it might be 25 points if it's really low cost and it if its really expensive it might be zero points. So we need to establish how we're going to do that. Part of the ranking staff is making sure you have a criteria for measuring that. And as you do this another thing that we might develop at the same time is what's called a cutoff threshold. A cutoff threshold is a predetermined score that we decide is the minimum acceptable value to move forward with an innovation. So I might say look, I wanna make sure that our company doesn't waste money on things that are exorbitantly expensive. That we get things at a certain value. So we're gonna set the cutoff threshold at five. And if something scores below a five, this would be a ten. Sorry, I'm reading this wrong. So I'm gonna set the cutoff threshold at a ten. If somebody scores below a ten, we're not gonna move forward with it. We need to find something else out there that scores a ten or higher. And we set those minimum thresholds for each of our scores. And in areas like here where you see the blue, this candidate extends beyond the threshold. That's good. It's giving us more benefit than the minimum we need, or it's giving us more scope coverage than the minimum we need. It's exactly meeting the number of champions that we have or that we need. So there's some areas where exactly meets. There's other areas where we're below though like low cost. Low cost does not meet my threshold number. So this particular candidate may not be a good one for me. In fact, I may just reject it on hand and say no it doesn't meet our threshold. Or if I'm comparing this to five others I might say yeah, this one blows the cost threshold, but it meets everything else. And no other technology met that many candidates. This one may be the best, even though it didn't hit one of my thresholds. But by having that, it gives us a nice hard number to compare against. And makes it where we can make a smarter decision that's based on numbers. And down the road, when somebody questions the decision and says, why the heck did we do all this stuff on Betamax as opposed to VHS or whatever? We can come back and say, well, here's the analysis we did. And well, yeah, we knew the cost was a little high side. It met all of of our needs. No other technology did that. And then who ever is evaluating could say all right that makes sense. I understand why you made that decision. It wasn't a, we just thought that one's better. >> [LAUGH]. >> And now you've got no way to justify that so having diagrams like these are really beneficial. And it makes it easy to communicate as opposed to a text which is a series of numbers which don't necessarily make sense. Here it's just a quick and easy comparison. Here's the candidate, and I drop the threshold on top of it. Now I have an idea of how it's performance would be inside of my deployment. And I can repeat this process with every other solution I'm evaluating and find the ones that best meet my needs. That's what the rank step is all about is figuring out which one's gonna bring me the most benefit with the least risk. >> Well, now that we're no longer being arbitrary, Don, we have a good idea of what solutions to go with, right? >> Yeah, so if we jump way back to our, here, oops. We jump way back to our street process, right? We just finished scope, track and rank. Now, we have our innovation candidates. We have a list of emerging technologies that we may want to deploy inside of our company, that we're ready to get in and push out. So from there we can start to pick and actually get these in place. So here's where the real work starts. Everything that we've done so far has been theoretical, just kind of like window shopping. And now we actually get to do the true work. So we can jump into our evaluate. And in evaluate we start to break these down. We investigate each of the top-ranked candidates. Where a lack of knowledge or understanding still prevents them from deciding whether to move forward. You might already have all the information you need. Everything is great. The product that was promoted to you was as great as you expected it to be, you're ready to move forward. Or you might still have uncertainty. So, for right software they now know, all right, we looked and software to find storage is at the right place in the hype cycle. We have a reasonable expectation for what it's gonna be able to deliver. We know that it's mature, enough people out there are already using it, so it's kind of a proven technology. But we still haven't picked whether we want to go with Dell or HP, or whether we want to go cloud based, and do Microsoft Azure or Amazon Native US, Google Computer whoever, they haven't made that decision. So there's still a lack of knowledge, and that lack of knowledge stops you from being able to move forward. And so in this phase we answer those questions, this is where we finally make our real hard decisions. And that means unfortunately this is where the bulk of our work actually comes in, right. You really have to hit the books on this one, and start collecting vendor data, and establishing which one is going to be the right solution for what you need. So some of the techniques that you want here, first off you need a thorough description of the technology, right. No time for marketing words, none of the buzz words, you need an actual description of what this technology is and what it does. You need to make sure you've got a thorough understanding of what it does. We need a business application, we need to document exactly how our business can use it, and I'm talking down to the process level. We need to understand how our employees are actually gonna make use of this to then meet our business needs. Which goes hand in hand with the benefit to the organization, we need to know what that benefit is. We need a potential evangelist, that when we go to deploy this, we need our employees to be on board, to want to use this technology. So we need to be thinking about that ahead of time, and who is going to be our evangelist to start promoting that inside of the company, so we start thinking about who that would be. A vendor list, we come up with a list of the vendors that can provide the solution. We might have already picked the solution, and more than one vendor can deploy it, right. If I want an EMC-based SAN, I've got to go with Dell, Dell owns EMC, that's my only choice. But if I just want cloud-based storage, I could go with Amazon, Microsoft, Rackspace. They all provide cloud based storage with basically the same services, so which one do I pick? Well I need to make sure I know which vendors I can pick from, so I can then rank and score them. And then select based on that, or it might come down to a price negotiation at that point, but I need to understand what my options are. And then lastly, I need to do an assessment of how my competition is using the technology, right. If your competition is already using it you needed to determine are they using it to its fullest ability, or have they already dominated a market that you're not gonna be able to dominate. In which case, you might need to choose a different route, you've gotta kind of evaluate how they're using it. You can put all this information together, and then use that to make the right decision, and say all right I'm gonna go with Amazon web services. I want to have software defined storage, I don't want to worry about individual disks anymore, I wanna deploy service quickly, so I'm gonna go with Amazon AWS. So for right inspection software, they make that decision. And they say, for now on all of our customer environments are gonna be deployed inside of AWS, with software-defined storage that's going to meet our needs. They're able to make that selection cuz now they have the information. And you might have to cycle through this step a couple of times, keep refining, getting more and more information until you're able to make that decision. You don't want to be frozen by indecision, right. >> Seen that. >> And sometimes, the more data you get, the harder it is to make that decision, right? >> Yes, definitely, I've had plenty of managers that are just sitting there going, well should we go with this, but this offers a little bit more. And they just can't pull the trigger, and it's like you know what we're coming to the part where you just need to make one of these and go okay, I like that one better than this one. A lot of times it does come down to, this one has a little bit more of this, but this one has a little bit more of that. Which one do you like and you just gotta kinda like make that happen, otherwise you'll, like you said, get frozen with indecision. >> Right. Now depending on your economic risk right, the more expensive the technology is the more you wanna put into this. So the way you make this decision could be as simple as research, right, I just do research, and I find out. I might go a step further and do a prototype, right. Let's get an evaluation, let's do a sample, and a test and actually deploy, and see what we can do. We might do a full on pilot, I might say, you know what let me take 5% of my customer base and try them out in this solution. I'll leave the other 95% on the regular solution, and then that way I can compare. That way we dip our toes in, and just kinda see how it goes, and evaluate, right. That's all a part of this evaluate step, right. We're just trying it out, we're trying to find the benefits, the costs, and the risks. And make sure we actually have those hammered down and understand what they are. Not just this nebulous idea of risk, but like an actual number, that hey if we deployed this and it fails we could lose $1.3 million. Or we wouldn't lose anything, there's no risk at all, you wanna make sure you actually know what that is. And then once you've got all that information you can make the ultimate decision. And there's really just three possible decisions here, you can choose to adopt the emerging technology. You can say, yes we're gonna do it, we're going to deploy it. Or you can choose not to adopt it, you can say nope, we're not doing that, that's a bad idea. Or you can choose to shelve it, and say you know what let me let this wait, it's in the hype cycle, it's not in the right spot. Maybe I want to wait a little bit, and I'm gonna see how it goes for some other people. Maybe my competitors are deploying it, but I can see that they're making mistakes, and it's not working well for them. I might want to wait just a little bit, and see what mistakes they make, so I can avoid those mistakes myself. It's always better to learn from somebody else's mistakes, right. >> Yeah. >> So that's all a part of this, but when it's done, we'll make one of those decisions. And if we decide not to adopt that's the end of the street process, we're done right? >> [LAUGH] >> If we decide to shelve it, then we just wait. But if we decide to adopt that technology, then we're ready to move on, and get things going. >> So Don what does the ETG do after they have selected a technology? >> Here's where that evangelist comes in right, so the ETG has done its job. >> Right. >> Technically the ETG's job is done when they select the technology. So we're going to deploy software defined storage with Amazon Web Services, okay well now somebody's actually got to do it. And the ETG is made up of a lot of people who are not necessarily the people who will actually do the change. So this is where you bring in an evangelist, and if this a full on project there'll often be a project manager. Somebody who's gonna take on this project of deploying our customer virtual environment inside of Amazon AWS, and actually rolling forward that project to get us moved over to it. But if it's simply buying a piece of hardware, then you're evangelist will usually just be the operational manager who runs the department that will receive that device. It varies what that's going to look like. But that's where the evangelist comes in, that hopefully we have chosen during our evaluate step. But now we're in the evangelize, and in evangelize we inspire, educate, and involve other people right. All the other people in our company, to obtain the cooperation and support of all those who will influence the successful adoption of the technology,right. That last part is really important here, these people will influence the successful adoption. You may have found the perfect solution, it improves your, or it meets your business needs, it improves your customer happiness, it lowers your cost, it makes you more efficient. But if you're end users are resistant to it for some reason, then you're gonna end up in the situation where you don't make use of it and you ultimately fail. >> I actually worked for company where they implemented a project management system that they spent tons of money developing, designing,getting it, and they said this is what we're gonna use now. And everybody hated it, they hated so much, and refused to use it, and so it actually went back to their old project management system, cuz no one would use the thing. >> Yeah, and that's, that can be a culture problem, that can be having the right people in the right place. But when you have a good evangelist, somebody who can go out and talk to people and say, let me explain to you why we picked this. Let me show you how this makes your job easier, let me show you how this makes your job better. When you have somebody explaining that, it really makes a difference. Now we're not gonna get into it here, we've already gone long enough, but there are different types of evangelists, cuz an evangelist can reign down with an iron fist. >> Yeah. Different types, different ways of problem solving. But ultimately the evangelist is trying to make sure, That everybody has buy in on this solution, and everyone runs forward with it. >> Well Don, does the champion then, take over? >> Yeah, now, who the champion is, is a bit of a mystery, right? We're not sure who that's going to be. But at this point, there And the ETG now can do what's called transferring. It's our final step is transfer, and that's where the ETG kinda washes our hands of this. And they say okay, we're done, we've gotta move on cuz there's other technologies we've gotta evaluate. So with transfer, we transfer responsibility for a new technology to another department or project that will take it to full-scale deployment, alright? They take it and run with it. If it's software to find storage, somebody down on the development team will be the person that helms that, runs for it. And actually gets the stuff moving forward. The project [INAUDIBLE] not the project manager. But the ETG transfers over to them. And then, says, okay, now, we're going to go way back to the beginning, when we were doing scope and track, right? So we just deployed this new technology. Does our scope change, it might. Right we might have new business needs now as a result of having this technology in place. And then, our track, we're looking for new solutions, all right? Maybe there's something that can make this one better because this process might have taken years. And now when we start our next one, we might all ready have the next thing in line. We just finished deploying this, but the next thing in line is all ready on the horizon. So, we start looking at it and moving forward. But we need to free up the ETG to do what they do. And it may be that one or two or maybe even all the members of the ETG go on to do the actual implementation. And we build a whole new ETG, with all new employees. It's not ideal, cause a lot of retraining and re-education, but then that is certainly possible. And now they roll forward without actually moving forward, but that's really what the transfer step is all about. But when that's all said and done, we've completed the street process. We've moved through all six steps, we made smart decisions, we evaluated the technologies, we chose them, we deploy them. Hopefully, deployed them successfully. And now we're just evaluating what's next on the horizon. And by doing this we've hopefully avoided selecting technologies that were unneccessary risks. That were not where they needed to be for us to accept them and move forward with them. >> All right well Don it was a great look at the Gartner Street Process. We do appreciate you walking us through that, holding our little hands. So that we'll understand it a little bit better and maybe be better at our process there. And that being said, I'm looking at our clock though, we are out of time for this episode. We do thank our audience out there for watching but signing off for ITPROTV I've been your host Daniel Lowry >> And I'm Don Pezet >> And we'll see you next time. Thank you for watching ITProTV.,