If you’ve ever watched The Walking Dead and been on a data integration project, you have GOT to have noticed some striking similarities. Specifically, you would have to have observed that every stakeholder on an integration initiative has a Walking Dead counterpart. No, this linkage didn’t strike you like a lightning bolt?!?! Okay, with my tongue pressed firmly inside my cheek, let me enlighten you.
This fearless, Type A leader with the fantastic beard and greased-back hair is the Walking Dead equivalent of the CIO. Just as Rick fends off brain-eating undead, your CIO parries calls from integration vendors all seeking to extract their pound of flesh from your IT budget. Trust me, some integration projects can feel pretty apocalyptic in their own right.
Custom coders don’t necessarily all have the temper and volatility of Daryl Dixon (nor do they wield crossbows in the office), but they are all pretty darn specialized and highly resourceful. Just like Daryl, coders are well-versed in their areas of expertise and like to “work alone.” They may also be resistant to change — after all, when it comes to integration, they’ve traditionally been the stars of the show. If IT leaders can get them on-board with changes in how they want to approach integration early, the Daryls of the world will offer less resistance.
This samurai-sword-wielding badass who knows how to kill a walker better than anyone else is the equivalent of a Project Manager. Just like a PM, Michonne possesses both the physical and mental tools — like Michonne’s sword and her unerring intuition — to provide the guidance and leadership that an integration project needs to survive the thicket of upright undead walking around in corporate America. Speaking of which…
Of course I have an analogy for my favorite bloody-faced, limping walkers. They’re the everyday IT challenges and threats! Just like the Walking Dead zombies, these challenges can move slowly, but they nevertheless manage to threaten the characters’ lives and their very existence in the show. Threats to an integration project include things like costs, delays, security issues, and outdated technologies — they’re shambling and ponderous, but they can still literally suck the life out of your integration initiative.
In the Walking Dead, the group is looking to its leaders to get them to prosperity and safety. Similarly, in an integration project, business users are dependent on their IT leaders to get them the ability to access and interact with their data. The challenge is, how fast can their IT leaders get them to integration success, without being “eaten” by shambling zombies?
So you see? The full cast of characters on the Walking Dead has a counterpart on an integration project. Told you so! What do you think — did I miss any other characters who have an IT integration doppelganger? Let me know!