From Wikipedia: “Form follows function is a principle associated with 20th-century modernist architecture and industrial design which says that the shape of a building or object should primarily relate to its intended function or purpose.”

The form that your IT infrastructure takes on or manifests also relates to the functions of your business. Your company might have frontline workers that share a computer, or you might have people that have a dedicated workstation, as well as they have a mobile device or two.

An aspect to consider here is the trend for organizations to extend their presence beyond the four walls of their primary HQ building, perhaps in the form of branch offices, home offices, or co-working spaces such as WeWork and other office sharing locations offer.

Just like in architecture, many business structures are cookie-cutter in nature, but these generic plans fail to address the unique needs of every business. Likewise, IT managed services are often offered as generic Bronze, Silver, and Gold packages, but not every organization fits perfectly into one slot of the other. And certainly, not every company fits into a one-size-fits-all scenario, such as where your IT provider multiplies the number of your users or devices by a certain amount to determine a monthly fee.

In architecture, before a building is designed there must be a site plan developed to understand the landscape and how a structure might best fit. Similarly, in businesses we see a wide terrain of varying operating systems, differing machine vintages, line-of-business applications that are respective to your industry, and unique end-user abilities. And as email hosting, identity management, and file storage are all moving to the cloud, then less on-premises servers will determine the size and cost of your telco closet.

Culture is another consideration in both architecture and technical solutions. Societal culture can be defined as an evolving set of collective beliefs, values, and attitudes, while business culture is related to behavior, ethics, etiquette, etc. For example, a current trend in new office spaces is for architects to include ‘huddle rooms’ for teams of 3-6 enthusiastic people rather than traditional conference rooms fit for a dozen staid board members. Huddle rooms must be outfitted with technology to fit the smaller collaborative group with WiFi, digital whiteboards, webcams, and multiple or side-by-side displays.

Before you choose a metal-colored package, please consider that your firm is a unique entity and environment. Design your technology to harmonize with your business’s own culture, its own spirit, and its own purpose.

 

As an Office Insider for Mac: Insider Fast, I get the latest updates quite early, but with the chance that it might roast my system =/

One of the recent benefits, though, has been the early arrival of the new Office icons. Personally, I love them – very smart design in my opinion. But there’s been controversy over the new overall design and its dramatic change from the norm that we’ve known for the last decade as the icons of Office. But just as we often see in the tech world, people are resistant to change.

I’ve actually had these for a little while, so I’m late to post about the icons in part because everyone else in the world was reacting. But I’d like to speak to change and not necessarily to graphic design.

Better yet, let’s allow a few iconic figures to speak:

 

“The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.”  Confucius

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“Remember your dreams and fight for them. You must know what you want from life. There is just one thing that makes your dream become impossible: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela

“One of my greatest fears is not being able to change, to be caught in a never-ending cycle of sameness. Growth is so important.” – Matt Dillon

“When I’m painting, I’m not aware of what I’m doing. It’s only after a get acquainted period that I see what I’ve been about. I’ve no fears about making changes for the painting has a life of its own.” – Jackson Pollock