Reflections - 4 Decades in 'Tech'

Technology, Blog posts

Reinvention and Disruption

At the dawn of every new year I pause and reflect on the challenges, the achievements, the frustrations in every activity I am engaged in, both as a private individual and as a Business Leader.

It has become clearer to me with each passing year that reinvention and active engagement are key elements in achieving a long and meaningful life.

At a personal level, January is a period of review, out of which comes a menu of resolutions and often a ‘mantra’ for the year ahead.

2017’s mantra was ‘sooner and more’, and 2018 has a new added component, which will be the subject of a future blog!

At a business leadership level it is important to practise the discipline of review on a regular basis – no assessment of past approaches and results means no pointers or basis for change and progression. And remember Einstein’s input, that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome is a definition of madness…….

So we come to the point of Reflection 1, and back to the world of Tech.

For almost 4 decades I have participated in a sector which has delivered a set of tools upon which organisations, professions and social groups of all kinds have built systems to achieve progress and change. In the main, the IT/Tech supply community has delivered adequately in terms of its ability to understand user needs and offer reliable solutions.

Occasionally, and with accelerating frequency, technology delivers truly transformational and disruptive platforms and functionality which can enable truly game-changing momentum to be achieved, if implemented decisively.

Bill Joss, Chairman, Greenbird Integration Technology A/S

So why is it that the mainstream of IT/Tech providers, referred to generically as the Systems Integrators, have remained stubbornly structured around lengthy, labour intensive, manual implementation processes which are increasingly out of synchronisation with the disruptive forces of 21st Century entrepreneurs and paradigm challengers?

The answer, of course, lies at the heart of the revenue model rather than at the core of the technology available. Almost every implementation of potentially disruptive tools, processes and software is held back by outdated, protracted and costly installation projects which suck resources and budgets into our own Tech version of Galactic black holes, and which feed day-rate revenue targets and consultancy charge-out models, outdated and in need of overhaul.

Implementation projects simply don’t need to be this way any more. Months of implementation projects can now be condensed into weeks or even days , reducing cost, reducing risk, reducing dependency on external suppliers and crucially, delivering disruptive platforms which can support rapid and necessary change, development and progression in those organisations which have the vision and energy to drive forward.

And so to the heart of the message…

Of all the 20th Century project management challenges, integration is probably the most demanding, time and resource-consuming. The integration of disparate and incompatible interfaces and infrastructure remains the element of a project which incurs the most delays and consumes hundreds or thousands of ‘dead’ man hours. The process of bending, twisting and coercing incompatible interfaces into an infrastructure which can then swiftly and accurately capture data and deliver the desired insights, management information and functionality is often doomed to being a compromise at best.

And 21st Century paradigm-changing solutions deserve better than that.

There is an urgent need for a ‘new way’, across all sectors, markets and industries, and traditional Systems Integrators need to recognise that and adapt their models to deliver rapid, decisive solutions to integration challenges. And if they do, they will be rewarded by further and greater opportunities to engage in wider and more functionally rich projects deeper within their clients’ operations.

Thereby creating additional and recurring revenue streams which build a platform for long-term, genuinely value-added client relationships.

For the user community, the adoption of ‘integration in a box’, or ‘orchestration in a box’ technologies can reduce integration project timescales and cost by factors of up to 75%, and can release critical resources to engage on true systems and functional development, thereby delivering disruptive momentum into their organisations.

And that is the way of the future. I believe.

And that is why I find myself, almost into my 40th year in Tech, and at the end of my New Year review process, embracing the opportunity to Chair the force for change that is Greenbird Integration Technology, at the leading edge of integration and orchestration in a box.

At Greenbird we have the rare and exciting opportunity to combine commercial entrepreneurship whilst building a disruptive technology business, with the mission to make a real difference to a number of clients and sectors which are undergoing massive change and which desperately need rapid evolution and control of their Big Data reserves as they move towards a digital future.

Greenbird’s current focus is on challenging outdated integration methods and models and enabling the energy sector, including traditional Utilities, to accelerate change and capture insights into their operations which will benefit us all by supporting the more efficient and environmentally responsible use of existing resources, and the rapid shift towards renewables.

Greenbird’s Metercloud, Heartbeat and Ghostwriter functionality offers a new way forward, and breaks the old integration paradigm – and working with the team to deliver that sounds like a good resolution for 2018 to me….!

For more information on Greenbird see