In response to ‘The Human Cloud’

At the beginning of this month, Eloqua Senior VP and Three Pillar client Andre Yee wrote a provocative blog post about translating the benefits of cloud computing to how human resources are utilized. He offers some profound insights on how “cloud-think” could not only apply to business and solution development processes, but to how it actually shapes the interaction and effectiveness of personnel. His post highlights four high-level concepts that map quite well on to the realm of human resources:

  • on-demand capacity,
  • flexible cost modeling,
  • speed of deployment, and
  • location-independent resourcing.
Each of these concepts has proven extremely powerful in adding speed and value to solution development and delivery; it makes perfect sense that they could and should be personified, that the professionals charged with their management could improve not merely the way organizations deliver technology, but the way they themselves expedite that very delivery.

I’ll let you read Andre’s blog to get the details. The reason I bother pointing you there in the first place is to enthusiastically suggest that Three Pillar Global exemplifies that organization Andre envisions! We’ve been steeped in cloud principles almost from day one — it’s not merely a process. It’s a foundational philosophy.

When we launched Three Pillar, a core part of our differentiator was an adherence to Agile methodologies (you probably already know that we’re renowned for “building the plane while we’re flying it.”) That nimble approach is what allowed us to compete against — and ultimately stand apart from — the traditional, plodding programmers who built instantly obsolete solutions using waterfall methodologies. Since the beginning, we’ve sought to tap the right resources, as needed, maintaining shoulder-to-shoulder client interaction. The solutions we ultimately deliver might vary greatly from the initial vision, but the bottom line is that the client gets what they really need!

As we’ve grown to become an international organization, we’ve stayed true to our Agile roots, and we’ve reinforced them with what we call our “Product Mindset”. As I’ve previously mentioned, that’s what we believe is a rare ability to think about every effort in terms of the business goals it must meet. Sure, we’re exceptionally creative, resilient programmers and developers — but we’re entrepreneurs and businesspeople first! Our solutions are not about building hammers when what you really need is a pipe wrench (even if you asked us for a hammer at the beginning of the engagement).

Finally, one underlying assumption in Andre’s article I will explicitly point out is the need for teams to be built for sustainability. The human cloud relies heavily upon the concept of elasticity – the idea that teams can expand and contract on demand. This is dramatically different from a traditional project mindset where teams start and stop, leveraging critical resources to continually turn the faucet on or off as short term schedules and budgets dictate; it can be very ad-hoc, even arbitrary! In contrast, Three Pillar’s Product Mindset encourages building sustainable teams that even during times of contraction continue to innovate. Our Shore Agnostic approach builds teams without regard for location. Instead, the focus is realistically framed by product, time, and budget constraints. This is the central factor in our accomplishment.

The only way we can maintain that kind of flexible, go-with-the-flow execution is to rely on a process adaptable enough, and a team empowered enough, to tailor and fine-tune our resources as we go along. Of course that means the technological tools and international resources we use. But more important in my humble opinion? It’s the people running the show. They have to demonstrate the strategic resolve to, as Andre so eloquently puts it, “ramp up and ramp down project teams in step with the demands of the business . . . create a flexible cost model for IT staffing . . . work in a ‘real-time’ economy . . . [and] recruit from a global talent pool, deploy teams anywhere in the world, and manage these teams effectively.”

Andre, I think you described Three Pillar Global to perfection!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.