PASS is in a growth period. According to Andrew Grove, who steered Intel through 30 years of change at Intel, organizations are affected by six forces, both internal and external:
- existing competition
- complementary businesses
- potential customers
- possibility of alternative ways of achieving the same end
If these forces stayed equivalent, that the company will steer a steady course. However, if any of the forces increase or decrease in terms of their pressure, then this change can turn into an inflection point.
The inflection point is where the curvature of a line goes from negative to positive. Translated into business terms, this can be considered as part of a maturity process, whereby the immature company goes through a turbulent ‘adolescence’, to reach maturity.
PASS is going through a change of external factors in the industry, which is directly impacting their customers and their potential customers. The disruptive nature of the data landscape has wrought the advent of new technologies. In order to meet customer needs, PASS needs to grow in order to meet those needs. Basically, organizations are asking new questions of their data, and, as Dr. Seuss put it, Sometimes the questions are complicated, but the answers are simple. To get businesses the simple answers that they need, PASS ‘customers’ – regardless of DBA, developer, BI, BA mindsets – are being asked to do more complex things, in faster timeframes, with more intensive skill sets. PASS needs to expand in order to empower customers, and potential customers, to adapt to the new environments.
We have seen people struggle with the new cloud technologies, both in terms of the technology, and perceived risk of the technology. This is one example of the change in pressure on PASS, and PASS has responded by offering high quality technical education whilst people skill up, or simply explore the technology. The next paradigm shift will be for Business Intelligence professionals, who will be asked to do more analytics work and they will need support in order to move forward.
The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings. (Eric Hoffer, Reflections On The Human Condition). PASS has done wonderful things for the Microsoft SQL Server community, which is one of the most vibrant technical communities in the world. PASS needs to continue the path of engaging with the existing community as they grow.