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(They’re Back!) New Year’s Anti-Resolutions for 2017

by Jeffrey Mann  |  January 2, 2017  |  2 Comments

Last year, I opted not to do the yearly New Year’s anti-resolutions I have been doing since 2009. I thought that things were generally going pretty well, with no need to talk people out of doing stuff I don’t think they should be doing.

Big mistake.
celebration day in new york city

Looking back on 2016, it seems that there is a need once again for the anti-resolutions. They are “anti” in a couple different ways. The main one is that these are not things that I intend to do, but stuff intended for other people. That is much easier. This is also what analysts usually do; we rarely do stuff, but we comment a lot on what other people or organizations should do.

Most of the resolutions are also “anti” because they describe something that I hope won’t happen rather than new things that should happen. I am generally a pretty optimistic person, but this has been a trying year for an optimist. Maybe this list will help in a small way to make 2017 a better year.

  1. Beloved celebrities need to stop dying.
    We said goodbye to too many good ones in 2016. This either has to stop, or we need to have 24 hour medical teams assigned to follow Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Morgan Freeman, Chrissy Hynde, and Ian Mckellen around. We really can’t to lose any of these.
  2. Don’t panic if your vendor introduces a new feature that overlaps with an existing one.
    Vendors bring out new stuff all the time, especially in cloud environments. Sometimes, they think carefully about what the new function does, and integrate it thoughtfully with everything they have done in the past. In that case, they come out with something new every 2-3 years.For most users and competitive markets, that pace of innovation is far too slow. So more often vendors are likely to just push something out the door and figure it out later. That means there can be overlap with existing functionality, or that terms don’t always mean quite the same thing This is potentially a bit confusing, but not the end of the world. IT people are generally much more concerned about this kind of thing than end users are. Users do what they always do; they figure out how to make it work for them. Eventually, the vendor gets around to sorting most of the inconsistencies out.Those who want the vendors to have all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed before introducing anything should be careful what they wish for. You might get something a bit less confusing, but you will have to wait years to get it. So take advantage of the new capabilities and don’t panic,But…
  3. Vendors should provide guidance when they bring out new stuff that overlaps with existing functions. 
    … I don’t want to let vendors off the hook either. While overlaps and confusing terminology are not the end of the world, they can be pretty irritating. Think of the poor user who has something to say, and 6 different options in 5 different tools to say it with. A bit of guidance can go a long way to clear things up.
  4. If you don’t want spoilers, don’t read reviews.
    It is hard to say anything interesting about a movie without talking about the movie. So if you see an article about Rogue One and don’t want to know yet whether Jyn Erzo is Rey’s mother, then read something else.
  5. Choose the option you like, instead of voting against something you think you don’t like but don’t know why.
    I have seen a lot of choices made this year that really are determined more by the vehemence or distaste for the choice NOT made than the actual choice. It is not really about choosing something, but about saying “AAARRGHHH! I AM ANGRY AND DO NOT LIKE THE SEEMINGLY SENSIBLE CHOICE, SO I WILL CHOOSE SOMETHING THAT DEEP IN MY HEART I KNOW IS COUNTER TO EVERYONE’S INTERESTS INCLUDING MY OWN!”For example, taking communications and collaboration systems to the cloud makes a lot of sense. But many decision makers are still uneasy with the cloud even if they don’t know why. So they opt to keep the current system long past its sell-by date, or explore options that avoid the cloud, and all of its inherent advantages.
    (You thought I was going somewhere else with this, didn’t you?)
  6. Do not press “Reply all” to more than ten people.
    Yes, that is still a thing.

Category: anti-resolutions  google-vendors  humor  microsoft  vendors  

Jeffrey Mann
Research VP
20 years with Gartner and META Group
30 years IT industry

Jeffrey Mann is a Research VP at Gartner, covering cloud office, collaboration and social software.


Thoughts on (They’re Back!) New Year’s Anti-Resolutions for 2017


  1. “If you don’t want spoilers, don’t read reviews” … so true! Nevertheless, reviews are important. I just hope that we get as little info about the movie story as possible. Also review writers must not reveal turning points in the movies.

  2. French Caldwell says:

    How about, just don’t hit reply all, at all. There’s at least one person in that group that doesn’t need to see your reply, isn’t there?

    Oops — I just replied all.



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