Don't Buy the Demo

John Dillon, Chief Executive Officer, Aerospike Blog

In his article posted November 8 on Medium, John Dillon, Aerospike’s CEO, shares his thoughts on the importance of an iterative approach to data systems. He explains why buyers tend to be wooed by sexy demos of new software systems, but often wind up struggling very shortly thereafter. Read below for a few highlights from John’s article on why it’s important to start small and go slowly instead:

Don't Buy the Demo

IT leaders are familiar with this scenario: the large and important IT project finally received the green light. The top vendors for the project have been vetted and the kick-off meeting is in the calendar.

Euphoria about the future success of the project sets in. It’s a big promise, excitement and expectations are high.

But 3–6 months in, the celebrations are over, reality sets in and the team goes through the “valley of despair,” a place where everything’s harder than expected, important issues were overlooked, estimates flawed, time frames too aggressive, and so on.

A possible reason is that you bought the demo. If you buy the demo, you’re setting yourself up for possible failure. A possible alternative is to take a cautious, iterative approach when implementing new software — especially when it means replacing existing systems. In his article, John explains how the data systems in the age of digital transformation have evolved and have become fraught with difficulty and risk.

Another suggestion from John is not rip out old legacy data systems and instead augment them with new technology installed adjacently that can scale, reduce latency, improve reliability, lower cost and upgrade performance.

Through this approach of iteration, business teams get the feel for the newer technology through ongoing improvement and can learn step by step how to best implement it for larger and larger challenges.

It’s cheaper, lower risk, easier, and a faster path to success. And you don’t have to bet your job.

John’s complete article was previously published on Medium.

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    John Dillon, Chief Executive Officer, Aerospike

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    John is the Chief Executive Officer of Aerospike. John has more than 30 years of experience building high-growth technology companies, and a passion for empowering developers creating next-gen applications in the cloud. John previously held CEO roles at Engine Yard, Hyperion Solutions, Navis and Salesforce.com. Earlier in his career he was an engineer at Electronic Data Systems and held sales management roles at Oracle as the relational database management company grew from $100M to $1B.