Have We Run Out of Things to Talk About?The awkward silence, the slightly desperate inquiry about the weather or the sputtering conversation punctuated by “sorries” and “no, you go aheads” are all recognized as symptoms of having run out of things to talk about with someone. Usually, this is a temporary phase, but sometimes this exhaustion of topics is a permanent condition. In some cases, this absence of areas for communication can have drastic consequences like the parting of the ways with a friend or a spouse. Let’s face it, when there is no more to say, even the best “listener” has met his or her match. In recent days I have begun to wonder if we aren’t reaching this point in the data center industry.

I was struck by this concern the other day while I read an article that detailed the 8 Tips for Shaping Your Data Center Strategy. Let me begin by saying that all of the recommended actions made perfect sense. The problem however is that they made perfect sense because they were so self-evident. Advice like “Integrate disaster recovery and business continuity into your core data center strategy” is right up there with “wear a coat when it’s cold outside” in its blatant obviousness. This doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be followed, but it does mean that if it comes as a revelation to you—“man, I never thought of that”—you should probably think about a career change.

Obviously, there is nothing wrong with reiterating common sense recommendations. Who among us couldn’t survive without the ability to prescribe well worn bromides when confronted with the vagaries and uncertainty of daily life? “Study hard” and “don’t talk with your mouth full” are certainly keys to success, but how many times do you need to hear them after the age of ten? I wonder if this is the point that we are at within the industry. Yes, we are all bombarded on a daily basis by articles and blogs on topics like SDDC, Facebook or Google’s latest foray into “clean” energy and what we all need to do maximize the Cloud, but isn’t this all starting to sound a little repetitive? In a sense it’s like those magazines with the headlines screaming about the “101 things you need to do to …” that are in violent competition with their counterparts who boast of the “102 things you need to do” to achieve the same result. It gets so mind numbing that I just buy Sports Illustrated.

I realize that it is early in the year and so every day carries with it the potential offer up some new and exciting innovation that can set the industry buzzing and isn’t what get’s us all out of bed in the morning? As they say, “variety is the spice of life”, and I think we’re all ready for a pinch of this and a dash of that to guide us into new areas of conversation. Until then let me just say that inspiration can come from many places and avoiding not having anything to talk about is certainly as good as any.

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