By Peter O'Neill

I have just come back from our own Business Technology Forum
in Chicago where my colleagues presented about the concept of “lean production”
to an audience of application development and business process professionals:
how the IT industry, including enterprise IT, must now finally address and
improve its R&D and production processes, just as other industries have
done already.

An elegant enhancement to this story was the invitation to
John Swainson, CEO of CA to keynote on this topic. CA has been marketing most
of this year under their slogan of “Lean IT” and encouraging IT operations
professionals to apply the principle in their shop. They were the primary
sponsor of the event as part of their corporate campaign to increase their
general visibility as a major IT vendor. As expected, John’s speech was
illustrative, informative and a perfect fit within the conference. 

Now I have had to field several inquiries from other vendors
who wondered about this conjunction of Forrester talking “lean” and one of our
clients using the same vocabulary. It is just that, coincidence. After all,
there are not that many words that can be used. My colleagues and I, those of
us who talk about IT operations, have certainly been working with CA on their
marketing programs but we had no influence at all on the scripting of the BTF.
A similar situation arose a few years ago when Forrester started to talk about
the journey from IT to BT and HP Software decided to declare their mission as
providing business technology optimization.

The concepts of lean are not rocket science, unique and
certainly not proprietary. It is a good metaphor for discussing many of the
potential process improvements that IT still needs to pursue in all its
departments. So I must admit to some surprise when I discovered this forthcoming
webinar from a CA competitor.

Session 4: Why Lean IT isn’t Going Anywhere, and What
You Can Do About It

I do love to highlight best practices so I thought I would,
for completeness, also point you to this practice.  As a marketing professional, I find this
approach a little depressing and I am convinced that it will be non-productive.
This has nothing to do with anybody disagreeing with Forrester as it is clearly
a lame attempt to attack a competitor – something which every marketing 101
textbook advises strictly against. remember, this blog is for vendor strategy professionals, no users, so this discussion is strictly within our community.

Do you disagree with me? Anything I have missed? Feel free
to let me know.

 Always keeping you