2021. What an interesting year. With the world turned upside down by a pandemic that seemingly had its sights set on...
Personal Transformation – our journey in 2021
Opinion –from your NonStop Insider team
It was at this time last year I wrote with some passion about how good it felt to be “still in the game.” I wrote of how this was a reference to the title of a song by Stevie Winwood, a veritable child prodigy when it comes to rock music; yes, Steve Winwood was the lead singer for the Spencer Davis Group at age 14! The exact context of the phrase is as follows:
Searching I find a reason to care
One heart moving still the same
Still in the game
As a serious 21 year old Winwood joined Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker (both of Cream fame) and Rick Grech in forming the truly first rock supergroup, Blind Faith, (“Can’t Find My Way Home” and “Had to Cry Today).” Back at the beginning of 2020 I made the observation that as a community we are not only still in the game (with no thoughts of crying today), but yes, we are feeling alright!
Who knew that a year later, these words would resonate again, perhaps even more energetically, although my last two references may be cause for a thoughtful pause – are we feeling alright? Turning to the lyrics of the song for additional context, you will read:
I just can’t waste my time, I must keep dry
Gotta stop believin’ in all your lies
‘Cause there’s too much to do before I die
You feelin’ alright
I’m not feelin’ too good myself
Remember this post of a year ago? It began the monthly update on the activities of our company, Pyalla Technologies, that would appear in each issue of this digital publication, NonStop Insider. Well now I can segue to the words of another song and this time it’s Turn the Page, a song by Bob Seger, although I enjoy the more emotional rendition by English-born Aussie, Jon English:
On a long and lonesome highway
East of Omaha
You can listen to the engine
Moaning out his one-note song …
Say, here I am
On the road again …
Turn the page …
Margo and I once jumped into a rental car we picked up at Omaha airport and this very song, Tune the page, came over the airwaves just as we exited the rental lot. Having lived and worked in Omaha between 2005 and 2006 and ignoring the jokes from our Colorado friends of how the only good thing to come out of Omaha was Interstate 80, it marked the beginning of a transition that ultimately led to us creating Pyalla Technologies. However, our time in Omaha was a continuation of the investment Margo and I were making in NonStop and came after both of us had spent lengthy stays with the former Tandem Computers.
However, listening to the engine and being back on the road again are about as far removed from our immediate reality as is any thoughts of feelin alright or still being in the game. This week I wrote an article for the upcoming January – February 2021 issue of The Connection. The topic addressed in this article was IT Transformation. After taking a good look at how IT Transformation differs from perhaps the more widely discussed Digital Transformation (DX), I have been reflecting more on that other transformation. Our own personal transformation brought upon each and every one of us as a result of perhaps the most tumultuous times any of us can recall.
Whether you think we have turned the page or simply rounded the corner, it’s not too hard to imagine that our professional lives as they are today will continue for some time to come. We may not all jump onto a ZOOM call in our PJs but then again, there’s that old adage about imagining everyone seated at a conference table for that all important presentation as being present there in their underwear. I don’t know about you but for me, that never really worked!
On the other hand, working remotely and practicing social distancing has all the hallmarks of becoming normal in terms of interacting with our colleagues and clients. Personal transformations as they occur involve us simply approaching the work we do a little differently recognizing that the onus is on each of us to perform. As the New England Patriots football team’s head coach, Bill Belichick, keeps reminding his team and after a fashion, all of us – just do your job!
However, simply doing our job doesn’t begin to truly describe the impact 2020 had on us all. The global pandemic saw new jobs being created even as traditional jobs evaporated almost overnight and the personal transformation that did occur has resulted in looking at our job in a different light. If you were in the distribution and transportation industries, new positions were created overnight. If you were in traditional retail or the general services sectors, positions disappeared just as quickly.
The impact this has had on the mission critical systems we had been deploying for decades has been serious; suddenly every application has become mission critical. With the changing jobs landscape and the newfound recognition of what constitutes mission critical, the world was suddenly very different in 2020 than anything we had known beforehand. And we just had to transform on a personal level.
When I asked members of the NonStop community for their observations going into 2021 I received a variety of inputs, with those working in EMEA only too happy to share their thoughts:
comforte Director, Partner Development & Marketing NonStop Solutions, Thomas Gloerfeld, makes it very clear what many of us are thinking as we begin 2021:
“To say that 2020 was a challenging year is probably an understatement, but we are glad to report that all our staff switched to working from home in March, stayed healthy throughout and that we’ve had a robust financial year.
Moving beyond expressions of hope, Gloerfeld anticipates opportunities ahead and this is a message that is beginning to be retold by other NonStop vendors some of whom have expressed similar observations in this issue of NonStop Insider:
With 2020 behind us, we’ve seen new forms of cyberattacks – Solarwind and FireEye – and an acceleration in digital transformation initiatives. We’re expecting an increased focus on data-centric security and digitization, which will continue to drive the agenda in 2021.”
According to Neil Davis, NonStop Enterprise Division Director, EMEA, he gave a similar outlook:
“I would say NonStop EMEA performance in 2020 was resilient with orders on target against the budgets set by the corporation. We saw expansion of the NonStop footprint, and we saw deployments on all our technologies, from NS2 to our first Virtualised NonStop systems.”
And like Thomas Gloerfeld, it was all positive news when it came to expectations for 2021:
“We are optimistic about 2021 with strong customer interest and demand for the Next Gen products of NS8X4 and NS4X4 right from their launch, with the expectation of completing their first shipments to EMEA customers early in the New Year.”
Here in the United States, there were multiple responses that simply couldn’t be referenced here given the current business, economic and political climate. But among those that could be published, the sentiments were similar:
A consultant focused on supporting NonStop vendors: “I’m just frustrated; we will not be getting our freedoms back anytime soon.”
A NonStop vendor’s chief executive: “It is at times like this that personal relationships and simple joys of life come to light and are more appreciated. 2021 will be better; as soon as we get past the current polarized politics and some relief from Covid.”
For many, the global pandemic has brought a spotlight to bear on not only the business, economic and political climate but also on what is now the new normal and asking the question, what constitutes the simple joys of life. That beer with good friends; that quiet walk along the seashore or out onto a pier; that simple drive over the mountains – activities that today aren’t without their challenges. As we, the NonStop community begin 2021and with it, the hope that vaccines will see some semblance of former normalcy return, whether we pick up on RUG events anytime soon or not, we will surely begin to realize that with personal transformation, that page is definitely being turned.
I’ve seen that road before
It always leads me here …
And still they lead me back
To the long winding road
And with that, there is a long and winding road taking us into 2021!