Emotional Investment in Projects Can Limit IT Innovation

Earlier this week, I attended an Intel Premier IT Professional event where I had the chance to speak to many customers in the St Louis area about "IT as a Strategic Value" and "Intel IT's Cloud Computing Strategy".

When I was not talking I had the chance to listen to Dave Buchholz talk about his small team within the Intel IT organization. Dave leads initiatives in a small team called "Pathfinding Engineering".  His team is chartered with testing new technology, thinking critically about their usages, looking at emerging employee usage trends and making data driven assessments for consideration for the Intel IT organization.

As I listened to Dave, I could not help but think about the movie "BIG" - when Tom Hanks reverts to being a little kid and gets a job playing with toys and making recommendations to IT management. A foundation of innovation is to be able to step out of established thinking patterns and find new ways of getting things done.

During Dave's talk he spoke about the value of having this group purposely being segmented from the larger established IT groups within Intel that are chartered with day to day challenges of engineering, operations and architecture.  This is important because too often there is "emotional investment" in projects and human nature can limit our thinking because we are constrained by the amount of time, effort, money and personal sacrifice on projects underway.

Dave's talk was focused on IT Consumerization trends including the emergence of 1:many device ratios, new devices like smartphones, bring your own device use models, client virtualization and more. Dave advised IT organizations in the room to monitor these consumer driven trends carefully and embrace them as a way to better support current and future employees and the way they want to work.  An example he provided with historical context is Instant Messenger Technology - a consumer driven technology that IT has had to adopt.

Within the Intel IT organization, thanks to Dave and his team, we have been looking at these trends closely for some time now and concluded that a Mobile Business PC is our best fit strategy today while enabling Device-Independent Mobility with client virtualization.