Preaching to the Converted


It is one of our core beliefs that IT infrastructure has historically undersold itself.  Partly that is due to our application colleagues and internal customers – they don’t really want to know about rack plans, virtualisation densities, global network latency –  they just want it to work. But partly, possibly the biggest part, is that infrastructure teams have been comfortable in their ‘below stairs’ role where we can sort out the techy bits and let the apps guys and users sort out the actual business use of IT.

Anything that increases the understanding of IT infrastructure throughout an organisation has to be a good thing.  It is therefore great to see an increasing (?) number of IT infrastructure related conferences scheduled in for this year including those from Gartner, CAMP IT and the Canadian-based iTech. However, who are these conferences really aimed at?  A lot of the agenda items (a few notable exceptions below) seem to be focused back on the ‘techy bits’.  This is all well and good if the aim is to ensure the latest information is spread to build professional qualified infrastructure specialists.  But where is the information that allows the non-infrastructure specialist to interact with us?  The fact that these conferences have ‘infrastructure’ in their title is enough to make any CFO, CMO, business manager run for the hills.


To be balanced, the agendas do include some of the ‘softer’ skills that we advocate (“…infrastructure cost model..”, “…changing the culture of infrastructure…”) and Gartner’s tag line for their conference is “…more business value for less…”.  All worthy and great to see but until we (IT infrastructure) can start getting those application colleagues and internal customers that we’ve avoided in the past onto the attendee list to these conferences then we will continue to miss our audience and be preaching to the converted.