When talking about personal believes, attitudes, and states, “Be” applies well. “Who AM I” is a question oft pondered.
And also often proferred is the advice that “whatever you DO, that’s an indication of who you truly ARE”.
But in I.T., I’m not so sure this applies.
When talking about technology, what something IS usually indicates a temporary or transient state. The server is UP. The WAN link is DOWN. There are 15 users connected to the system. The CPU is 89% (which is over-threshold).
Even when asking about the physical (which, in our ever-more-virtualized world, is becoming a rarer and rarer occurrence) what something IS is usually not permanent. The server IS a DELL Poweredge R930…. until it’s not, because we swapped it out for a Cisco UCS. The router is a JuniperMX240… until we upgraded it.
Knowing what something IS is not particularly interesting in the world of I.T.
We have a significant need to know what something WAS. The system crashed at 2:30am. What WAS the cpu and ram and user load at that time?
But even that information only has significance in the world of forensics.
What we should be focused on is what something WILL BE. When will I max out my storage? When will I have too many users for the current system to support. Our bandwidth utilization – what do we predict that WILL BE next month.
Knowing THAT would change everything. Of course, to know what something will be, you must have the data available to know what it was previously and what it is currently.
Which leads me back to the personal. I think that – like I.T. – knowing what we ARE is far less interesting than focusing on who we WILL BE, who we COULD BE. Of course we need to acknowledge our past as well as our present.
But if we could know, could predict (though our commitment to action) what we will become?
That would change everything.