“If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It”

Brett Addis

A friend of mine bought a brand new Ferrari; this car was a true sculpture. I remember looking at the car and being awed by its perfection. The exterior was designed to be aerodynamic and perfectly balanced to take corners at high speeds, the tires were created for exceptional road handling, and the engine was tuned for maximum performance. Sitting in the driver’s seat, the interior was amazing. The high-quality leather was designed for maximum comfort, and the gauges and controls were perfectly arranged to enhance the overall experience.

Six months later, the same friend was expressing his displeasure with his new car. He told me that he felt the engine was under-powered, the car drove like a truck, and that he had challenges in keeping the gauges calibrated, giving him inaccurate driving information. As he was speaking, I was thinking to myself, “this is a Ferrari, one of the most desirable cars in the world; this must be a joke.”

When we approached the car, I almost didn’t recognize it. There was oil dripping from the underside, and a new stripe was painted across the hood. The tires looked like something that came off an SUV, and it appeared that most of the gauges had been replaced with aftermarket parts. “What happened,” I asked? My friend told me that he made some modifications to “personalize” his ride. He explained that he did not know how to maintain a Ferrari, and that each of his changes required another to fix the previous change. He had made so many changes, he was unable to figure out how to get it back to original. As it turns out, my friend didn’t know Ferraris are designed and delivered out of the showroom to provide the best performance in the world, and little to no changes are needed.

This story is fictional, but it illustrates how many organizations manage their cloud solutions. Many have overstepped the boundaries of personalization through configuration to the point of no return. However, I also feel that cloud has been misrepresented and portrayed as “the” means to an end rather than an enabler or influencer, and this has create confusion about achievable expectations and outcomes.

Who should take the blame? No one. In fact, there are no winners or losers in cloud. We all win together or we all lose together.

How do you keep from destroying your Ferrari?

  1. Gain an understanding of cloud
  1. Understand how cloud will impact the way you work and operate
  1. Be sure your organization and culture are ready to shift
  1. Develop an enterprise cloud strategy
  1. Define clear enterprise requirements, expectations, and outcomes
  1. Build partnerships, not silos, with other enterprise functions
  1. Create short-, mid-, and long-term plans highlighting quick wins along the way
  1. Choose your implementer wisely – understand their strengths and weaknesses
  1. Do not underestimate the importance of management and maintenance
  1. Change management starts at #1

Change isn’t what it used to be; today organizations need to learn how to change constantly and cope with the pain it causes. Learn more about The New DNA of Change.

This article originally appeared on HR Strat Chat.


Brett Addis

About Brett Addis

Brett Addis is the Global Vice President of HR Strategy and Transformation with SAP SuccessFactors. Brett’s global team proactively partners with our customers to deliver advisory and engagements to guide them through their transformation journey. During his 20+ year tenure, he worked across many of the HR disciplines as a practitioner and consultant. Before to joining SAP, Brett spent 12 years in management consultant and has held corporate executive positions of Vice President of Human Resources and Talent Acquisition at Washington Mutual Bank.