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Friday, December 11, 2009
As I was flying back from the Bay Area last week after a series of customer and partner visits, I came across an interesting article in USA Today, entitled "Stake claimed on Chicago housing project." What caught my attention was the fact that a group of current and former residents of Chicago's dilapidated Lathrop public housing project were fighting to stop the revitalization of the 60-year-old development. Not only is the 924-unit complex in desperate need of repair, it seems like an ideal fit for the new model of mixed-income public housing, at least according to the Chicago Housing Authority.
The proposed rehab effort, which is being met with much resistance, is intended to integrate the area into the surrounding neighborhood for the good of the residents, taxpayers and society as a whole. The reluctance to change reminds me of a capital campaign committee I'm on to raise $5 million to update my local church and school facilities with the addition of a new gym, pre-kindergarten classrooms and meeting rooms. We desperately need the overhaul to remain a competitive school and vibrant parish, yet all too often I hear parents and community members say "we can't afford this" or "the old gym is good enough."
Truth is, the old gym isn't good enough and families are choosing other schools and parishes with modern facilities and the latest programs we simply can't offer. It's clear that we must embrace change, no matter how scary, as it's the universal price we pay for progress–whether that means rehabbing a neighborhood, updating an aging school or upgrading an outdated information management infrastructure to keep pace with growing business demands.
It dawned on me that the Chicago neighborhood, my local school and many other companies I meet with around the world all have something in common–an overarching fear of change. Even when there's an enormous upside, there's a natural tendency to dwell on what could go wrong rather than what would happen if things go right. That's why customers who complain about broken backups and unstable data management platforms still spend exorbitant amounts of time and money on hardware and maintenance while they try to convince themselves that their outdated solutions are good enough, even when they know they're not.
Change is something that many people try to avoid–but it's inevitable. Sure, it's scary. Completely overhauling something from the ground up forces you to let go of the status quo and move forward.
Over the past year, CommVault has worked with hundreds of companies that have undergone massive organizational transformations by ripping out old, legacy data management foundations and replacing them with new, innovative solutions that have produced big returns on their investments. They realized that change was necessary to reduce the time and money they were wasting on old platforms they'd outgrown or disparate products that didn't work well together. They took a chance on altering how their companies share and protect information. In doing so, they changed their businesses for the better. I hope others follow their lead in the New Year, just as I hope my school gets a chance at a new gym and Chicago's Lathrop housing project gets to become a thriving community.
If you don't take a chance on change, you'll never know what new possibilities are ahead. Sure, it's daunting, but the alternative–doing nothing–can be much more frightening and damaging in the long run. I say it's time to embrace change, no matter how scary. What do you think? What 2010 technology projects are keeping you up at night? What changes in your organization scare you the most?
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The content of this blog reflects the thoughts and opinions of the author, and does not represent the thoughts, opinions, plans or strategies of CommVault Systems, Inc. ("CommVault") and CommVault undertakes no obligation to update, correct or modify any statements made by the author of this blog. Any and all third party links provided by this blog are not affiliated with, nor endorsed by, CommVault.