How real people deliver IT – Christopher Olsen Matthew Underhill Donny Lang – Ep 111

Whenever I speak with those tasked with deploying enterprise technology one of the most common challenges I find they have is finding a way to compare what they are doing with others in similar roles.

How do you best find and deploy new technology? How do you encourage open dialogue in your business to identify needs and opportunities? How do you learn more about what technology is available? And how do you ensure you are not seen as the IT department who always says no?

These are all real challenges and finding out how others deal with them is not easy, especially when you are already very busy delivering the IT you have.

In this week’s podcast, recorded at the recent NetApp INSIGHT event in Las Vegas, I wanted to explore this topic with people who actually deliver IT for a living and don’t work for a vendor, partner or consultancy firm. I wanted to try to understand their process, how they go about identifying issues, defining solutions and delivering them.

To do that I got some time with three IT leaders from very different organisations who were attending the conference. Donny Lang, Sr. Systems Administrator at GDC, Christopher Olsen, Solutions Architect at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Matthew Underhill from Alfred H. Knight. All three had differing challenges, but all took very similar approaches to how they tackled the daily conundrum of delivering effective IT.

They each share some very insightful experience that I hope you find as interesting as I did, during the episode we cover.

  • What kind of challenges do you see?
  • Using Cloud
  • The primary aim of your IT
  • Selling IT’s capabilities
  • Discovering problems
  • Rules of “engagement”
  • Dealing with the “smartest people in the room”
  • How do you define a solution?
  • Don’t be afraid to ask why
  • Trusted partners
  • Importance of events
  • Becoming data focussed

I thought this was a fantastic and frank conversation and each of the guests provided some valuable insight.

If you’d like to find out more from any of the three you can find them online in the following places;

Donny Lang blogs at and can be found on twitter @DonnyLang1

Christopher Olsen can be found on twitter @colsenNM

Matthew Underhill blogs at on can be found on twitter @underkenya

Next time we delve back into the world of IoT, if you want to catch it then subscribe to the show which is available in all good podcast stores!

If you’d like to be a guest or have an idea for a show then email

Thanks for listening.

2 thoughts on “How real people deliver IT – Christopher Olsen Matthew Underhill Donny Lang – Ep 111

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