by January 3, 2005 0 comments

Krishna Kumar

Often we take extra care in ensuring that that which is happening does not change, in ensuring that that which is in place is not replaced with something new. There is comfort to be had in ensuring continuity as opposed to ensuring change. That is basic nature. And this is true of our technology implementations as well.

Unfortunately, success does not often come that way. Bigger successes come out of ensuring discontinuities with the existing than from continuing with status quo. 

Let me illustrate this theory with some examples, some from technology and some from business. It is a fact that businesses grow faster by acquiring other businesses and by getting into newer areas of business than by sticking on to what they originally started off with, reposing faith on organic growth. No company has grown really big without embracing newer discontinuous businesses. 

Whether it be GE or HLL, ITC or IBM, Microsoft or Wipro, Infosys or Boeing, they have all become what they are today by creating discontinuities, by getting into new business areas and by rewriting the rules of the business that they are in. Success did not come their way because they stuck to the narrow path of what they originally started off with, but because they dared to do things differently; because they dared to do different things. Because they dared to change the rules of the game itself. In technology, too, we find such examples of success. The Internet created a discontinuity in the way we communicated. The graphical browser created a discontinuity. Windows created a discontinuity in the way computers could be used. Linux created one in the philosophy and then the business model of tech usage. WiFi created a physical discontinuity in the way we connected networks. And they all became widely successful. Great. But what is the point?

A simple one. When you are implementing IT solutions, it may just be worth your while to create a discontinuity with the past, than to try to ensure continuity. Sure, this path has many pitfalls and there is a possibility that you could go wrong. But you could also be wildly successful than anything else currently existing. Think of that the next time you set out to define a new enterprise system, to write a new application, or to architect a new solution. ¨

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