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Scott Klososky By Opening General Session Speaker Scott Klososky
Innovation
gets tossed around as a popular trait that companies need to have. It is much easier to say we are innovative, than to actually be innovative. I have a personal belief that if one if going to talk about innovation, one should actually have something innovative to say, and even a new way to say it. I practice what I preach when on stage because I always have innovative ways of delivering my keynotes. For the purposes of this screed, I will leave the innovation to the idea…

Technology is a difference maker – that statement attracts little debate. What might attract more of a debate is whether building it is an art or a science. I have a strong belief that technology is art. The evidence of this is the fact that there are 1,000 different ways to build any piece of software, or assemble a network. In fact, if you asked 100 artists to paint a potato, you would get every variation under the sun. Including the smart alec that would literally paint a real potato blue and hand it to you. In the same vein, if you asked 100 programmers to develop and accounts receivable application, you would get 100 very different applications, written on many different platforms. Some high quality, and some ghetto quality.

Let’s go further, ask 100 network engineers to assemble a network and you will get a wide array of configurations, with varying throughput and security levels. The difference between art and engineering is the amount of tools that can be used to achieve a goal, and the performance level of the final product. A bridge must absolutely handle cars and trucks going over it, and must last for 100 years. A software program built to handle A/R might not even be able to print the report you need. So why is this important?

If you understand that technology is art, you will do two important things differently. The first is that you will pay much more attention to the people you hire to do the art. You would look more for talent and at past experience, then at the price tag. No one wants a portrait done by a $20 novice because it would be ugly and would never get hung. Yet we hire junior tech people thinking we are saving money. The second is we would spend more time on the strategy behind our digital plumbing. Once an executive has a vision of how their technology plumbing should function, they would get much more interested in driving results. Believe me, there is a reason that programmers dress like they do at work. There is a reason they do not like to work regular hours. There is a reason that they can be really emotional, and that it is hard to make software that is bug proof. Technology is art, and as such, needs to be built by masters – or it will look like a velvet painting of dogs playing poker…

So what are your thoughts about innovation, technology as art and technology as the difference maker? Post them here and well discuss them more at the Opening General Session “Driving Innovation: Insights To Help Your Organization Breakthrough” on September 26 at 10:30 am!

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