Bringing Simplicity to a Complex World – No Easy Task
- July 20, 2019
Simplicity is a great virtue, but it requires hard work to achieve it and education to appreciate it. And to make matters worse: complexity sells better.
I could not agree more with this quote from the Dutch essayist and pioneer in computing science, Edsger Dijkstra – famous for his works on algorithms from the ‘60s to the ‘80s. For the 30+ years I have been working in the IT industry, I have witnessed that with every new hype comes the promise of a complexity killer whereas, in fact, the new trend often creates more data silos to handle, at least for a transition period.
The recent example is cloud computing, whose scalable pay-per-use model can bring real flexibility advantages to users, while also generating infrastructure chaos if there is no integrated multi-cloud management solution to bring consistency between private clouds, public clouds and on-premise datacenters. 93% of companies will use more than one cloud. They need a unifying partner to help them manage this complexity – connecting teams and processes across different platforms. Dell Technologies offers services, solutions and infrastructure to achieve consistency in a multi-cloud world and eliminate obstacles.
As a CFO, I consider it part of my mission to fight unnecessary complexity, whenever I can. I share this opinion by Jim Bell, a former CFO turned CEO, that complexity is the enemy of agility and that some level of automation (through selected RPA technologies, for instance) can help make things like planning and forecasting simpler in an age where companies are more and more data-driven.
Now, how do you take all the noise away and make sure you focus on tools and data that really bring some return on investment to the business?
In a recent podcast on the evolution of the CFO, McKinsey consultants refer to the finance function and the CFO as a talent factory which needs to flex different muscles to attract, retain and drive talent going forward. I am convinced that the ability to bring more clarity in things that tend to be messy is one of these key muscles.
Are you too? Do not hesitate to share comments or experiences on how you fight complexity in your work environment.