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Mike from NetApp here I enjoyed this very much. Lots of us have been in the storage industry for a long time - 15 years in my case, (good Lord!) and we have seen change happen at an amazing clip. In fact, 15 years in enterprise storage would put you in the industry from just after its birth! If I go all the way back to Middle school - 7th grade to be exact, my first programming efforts were stored on paper punch tape! 5 years later, we had Apple II's and a floppy disk holding 16K. Ah, those were the days! Today, I store a lot of my stuff in the "Cloud". Nice. Today, the acceleration of change is bewildering! I think some of the reticence to change comes from good old human nature (fear), and the rest comes from a sneaking suspicion that they are being sold rainbows (more fear). Not long ago, as an SE at EMC I could sell a TB of disk (just disk!) for a million dollars. Now, you can buy 2 TB in a single drive from best buy for a few hundred bucks. During my new hire at EMC I vividly recall Jeff Goldberg addressing us. He spoke about "Institutional Thinking" as EMC's biggest competitor. I still have my notes from that talk he gave, and it was riveting. Few people like Jeff ever walk this earth. The truth is, that fact has not changed one bit. It is not only our biggest competition, but it is our customer's biggest threat! The one constant in our lives is that the biggest barrier to useful change is institutional thinking, be it for personal growth, or change that propels a business forward. Your discussion was a great example on how anyone - especially an IT manager, can overcome and break down these barriers to progress. Every IT shop I've ever visited - 1,000's of them - have some of this friction holding them back from extracting the full value of the pieces and parts they've selected to use. I look forward to the day when the majority of business look at their IT infrastructure and staff, and smile, rather than grit their teeth. More than anything else, the Human Element catches my attention as the driver or inhibitor to growth and progress. The tools chosen can make a difference, but more important to me is what you do with what you have that that makes the difference. Cheers. My best to you and your family.
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Sep 17, 2010