Who do you think you are?

I recently took a DNA test. A present from my nearest and dearest, who knew I wanted to find out more about where I was from.

However, let’s pretend I am not me, but for today I am a large company.

So this is my story…

I knew, because the guy before me had said, that we had this and that, and everything was fine and no need for concern.

However, I was new to the job (new to being the one researching the history of our enterprise, so where we had been and where we might go). All the better to march forward knowing as much as you can know about who you are, I thought.

Like most bodies, I came to the task with some assumptions. I assumed that we knew things to be true and that someone before me would have written everything down and linked this to that, in a way that meant sense. I assumed that all available data had been checked and there was a scheduled time for rechecking, to see if anything new had come to light. I assumed that when we were looking for information, we were looking in the right place. I assumed we all wanted to know, and move forward with new knowledge.

Almost everything I assumed, turned out not to be true.

It turned out that we had started in a particular place, a long way from where we are today. It turned out that the legacy of those beginnings was still with us. It turned out that the new software and connectivity available to me meant that I could discover those beginnings and go back in time (almost) to meet them face to face. There was much excitement to be found in going back and working out where it had all come from and guessing at the why. It was even more interesting to piece together the why, especially as scandal and opportunity came to light as the drivers.

Most importantly however, it hadn’t been written down, and so it was difficult to make the right connections. There was no single source of truth. What was available as recorded information provided by Government you would assume had been checked and was correct, and in some cases yes but in others no. Turns out Government has humans working there too.  Changes did not make logical sense; motivations could only be guessed at.

Still our job was to move forward, to frame history in a way that made it useful for the present and a form of guidance for the future. The future is still to be forged and the mistakes of history are only to be understood as warnings for the present right?

This is where new technology can pave a way. Imagine being able to easily install the latest in IoT technology to find out definitively what is happening within your buildings, to your people and your asset base. Have a digital asset register built that tracks all your assets, and shows you your assets functioning (or not) and using easy set thresholds the system will tell you when those assets stop performing or move or fail and die. Know in advance where your assets are heading, and plan your routines for maintaining and replacing on this real data, delivered many times a second. Cut out unnecessary labour cost, remove those people who are not reporting in your interest but influenced by their own foibles and patterns of learnt behaviour. Trust the machines to tell you the truth, potentially all the time. Do all of this for a fraction of what you think it costs. Take a look at www.iotsystemsgroup.com

Anyway that’s enough about business. You want to know what I found out about me. I found out I was Italian/French and from the mountains. I discovered that was strong within my DNA and strong in the way we looked and acted, even hundreds of years later. I found out we had gone to Ireland and that’s how my near relatives had ended up in Liverpool. I found new relatives in the old lands (had time with them on a beach near Nice) and many more even newer relatives in the melting pot of the USA; all still in the same place they emigrated to when Ireland proved too hard place to live. I discovered all kinds of things, marvellous and eye opening, part of a very human story of migration across Europe and onto America. And I discovered a part of me was probably even older and distinctive enough to be narrowed down to South India. So hello to all my new friends, brothers and sisters from Mumbai to Puducherry. I look forward to meeting you in the future.

Overall, having access to the accurate, undisputed data made things more interesting and action more sensible. It forged new relationships and spread the net wider in a more meaningful way. This should be the same for companies.

Jason Plent – April 2017

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