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Contextual Service Management - the Quantified Enterprise

What an exciting two months!  Many of the items that I spoke of last year, at IT conferences, are starting to see the light of day.  My ideas are now reality in the press, and becoming realized in organizations. 

It started with TechCrunch in January 2013, when Alex Williams and I had a moment to speak on the telephone about enterprise IT and the changes that are happening beyond the ‘buzz words’ folks like to throw around.

Alex and I sat down with a few of our peers and talked about the enterprise of tomorrow in this interview

Heck, I even had a chance to sit down with Clint Boulton from the Wall Street Journal to talk about the concepts around ‘post work’ and the enterprise of the twenty teens:

It’s become apparent that quantification of work, algorithms on that data, and sensors are creating the digital workforce of tomorrow.

Gone are the days when you could get by on creating a piece of content from Microsoft Office, send it in an email and measure your world by ‘unread messages’, calendar appointments and a keen filing system for documents on your spinning platters of digital worth.

The tools needed to speed through enterprise bureaucracy today are not found in email or file systems.  Today’s knowledge workers actually need to be able to create value without ever touching a physical keyboard or an inbox. 

We are not in a post-PC world, we are in a post 'un-quantified' work world.

So sit for a moment and think about what your week looks like without email or a tool to create documents, spreadsheets or presentations - what do you do for work?

Developers have a leg-up on the rest of IT. Heck, even GitHub has quantification systems rolled into their product now. 

Recently Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s CEO, and Best Buy publically stated their rally cry to remove telework from the lexicon of their corporate culture.

As if the air was sucked out of the boardroom, the Internet erupted with pundits on both sides decrying the brilliant move the Yahoo CEO had made and those who thought it was a death knell for corporate culture.

I don’t have a dog in this fight, so I’m not going to call her move brilliant or silly.  She’s the CEO, and I think Mark Zuckerberg summed up the reality of what it means to be CEO in a sound bite once. You will have to Google that one yourself.

What caught my attention was an article that stated that Marissa had used VPN logs to make the decision.  It is crystal clear that what we have here is a measurement problem, not a culture problem.

How do you measure a workforce whose skillset has not changed since 1987? 

The topics of digital literacy - what I call ‘post work’ and employee measurements, I covered in depth 2012.

It was easy to see this coming. I have watched with great interest over the past four years as knowledge workers have carefully reconstructed each physical moment in their digital day on social networks.

We don’t have a innovation problem, we have a skills schism that is going to hit the global white-collar workforce and divide it so violently, that ‘post-pc’, BYOD, consumerization, mobile and social are going to look like a walk around the water cooler in comparison.

What happened next was exciting and terrifying for me.  I decided to share my data, my own ‘quantified existence’, with Klint Finley from Wired magazine.  The result was a multi-hour session that lead to Wired covering the 'quantified man'.  The responses to the article and the accompanying video interview were overwhelming for me.

People are not ready to talk about how they are measured or will be measured. 

To be clear, I measure much more than the ‘quantified self’ movement is probably ready for.  I use low friction data collection to measure and quantify my existence, this means not only my health, but my knowledge work, my finances, my physical environment – heck, even my dog is tracked.

 Why would I take concepts from last year and then open up my very private world for everyone to see?  I NEEDED TO. 

No one is talking about the obvious lapse in skills, or judgment, in training on topics of post-authentic knowledge work, digital dualism, mindfulness or quantification systems that are invading our working spaces.

The absence of leadership on knowledge work is deafening.  Sure, we love to tweet about technical debt, forward-looking ideas, concepts that smell of the future, but we have a gaping hole in finding people who are ready to talk about  the ‘NOW WHAT?’

You can use these systems of data and quantification to help you evolve and become smarter, faster, to cut through the attention tidal wave of information distractions, and you should be thinking about this. As much as I hate to say it - you should have been paying attention in 2011-2012 when I was preaching – but, hey I know you have project plans to complete, blog post to create debating the validity of new frameworks, arguing on twitter about skills that no one uses in the general population.  

So what IS next?  Well, this week you can take a peek at my latest presentation on the ‘Quantified Enterprise’.  I’ll be at itSMF Belgium as the keynote, delivering the world premier of this topic. 

 Would you like to read about the quantified enterprise? You can read a quick description here. 

Quantified Enteprise


My journey of realization about these topics was recently captured on ITSM Weekly the podcast, where I go in depth on the evolution of my thinking.


The data driven life, the quantified enterprise, the empowered knowledge worker are not enough.  These concepts prepare us for a 2011 skillset and unfortunately we are in 2013.

On March 20, 2013, BrightTalk is holding a panel where I will addresses these topics openly and bluntly with three actual thought leaders (yes they are back in vogue, but you have to quantify your thought leadership).

I am fortunate to share the same stage with James Finister, Mark Smalley and the incomparable (and influential) Stephen Mann.  This is not the first time I have shared the stage with these gentlemen, but it’s been a while, and it’s time to remind the world, what leadership looks like.

One more thing, we need to pay careful attention to a critical and very non-traditional skillset, a skill that seems more new age, than academic.  In April 2013, I will present “If Buddha Had an iPad : The Ultimate Body Hack of Today's Knowledge Worker”, at the HDI 2013 conference.

Today’s knowledge worker has a requirement to come to terms with concepts of mindfulness, in an effort handle the onslaught of tech and data that is going to crash upon the pristine white sandy beaches of ‘Job for life’.

It is shaping up to be an amazing 2013 and I have to thank BMC Software for the continued support of my unorthodox culture-clashing, status-quo destroying lifestyle.  

A quote from Seth Godin continues to represent perfection in my vision for the enterprise non-executive, who moves information and is dangerously close to not understanding what ‘post work’ looks like. 

‘Being a maker involves doing something that may not work. Otherwise you’re just an assembler’ 

Be mindful as you go through your 2013 -  ‘Makers’ will quantify, ‘Assemblers’ simply measure.  We have the data for best practices, key performance indicators and a host of other management FUD and sins from the past 20 years.  Let’s use this information to make data-driven decisions that support and push forward the work of tomorrow.

The job you save, may be you own, but heck, what do I know? I’m still the guy that, for five years, has been telling people they don’t’ know how to use email, social media or digital information without being rude…. while we are on the topic of that…I WAS RIGHT.



Below is a list of hardware, software and services that I use to automate, quantify my life. Many people have reached out to me post Wired and other press for this list.  Some services or tools are on order or backed in a kickstarter. This is not a quantified self movement, it's a quantified digital dualism.  Who you are digital and how other digitzens relate to you.  I have both sets of metrics, my own data, then reactions to my data.  I will be presenting both in June, 2013 in London.


 - Hardware, Software and Apps that quantify existence to help you learn from environmental feedback. Use cases for lessons learned inline. These tools come to life as you connect them together using ifttt, zapier or tictrac.



Stories of lives impacted by data or lack of data, how the world is changing in the numbers.The future of work is defined by a combination of quantified self, knoweldge lockering and influence. These stories represent that trend:


  1. Manually enter information into your collection systems.
  2. Download CSV and import.
  3. Hacks from github
  4. Screen shot information into your systems. 
  5. Email grabs of your information into your systems.
  6. Social integration into your systems (separate twitter accounts for each device), and manually twitting it.
  7. Automated social integration e.g. picking up a sound and tweeting it automatically.
  8. API (some of my systems dump to evernote but no other system.
  9. Massive collab API runnkeeper talks to 11 systems (soft and hard) but then keeps the data walled up.
  10. Massive collab open API/ Transportable and automated. 



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by Chris Dancy