Moving On…

It’s not the biggest job change news this week (or the day), but after three years on Architecture Strategy and six years total as an evangelist, I’m moving on to a new role. After six years, I decided it was time for me to put my money where my mouth is as well as get my hands dirty building something more substantial than buzz.

I’ll be moving over into Microsoft’s IT division as a member of the Integration Center of Excellence Architecture Team. Integration, as you might guess, is a euphemism here for service-orientation. My team is tasked with architecting and delivering the shared service-oriented infrastructure for four of the biggest projects Microsoft IT will be delivering in the next year. Last time I changed jobs, I lamented that “With each job I take at MSFT, coding seems to become less a part of the job description.” Happily, this is NOT the case this time.

About a year ago, Microsoft hired Stuart Scott to run the business apps side of IT as one of our two CIOs (our other CIO Ron Markezich oversees the IT infrastructure). Stuart was kind enough to spend about an hour with me last week explaining his vision for how he sees MSIT evolving under his leadership. Here’s what he said in a recent interview:

PressPass: How do you see Microsoft IT evolving?

Scott: There is a broader role for IT to play at the front end of the development of products and services. Our IT organization knows a lot about the challenges that other IT organizations face because we build and maintain the IT backbone of a massive worldwide enterprise. IT must become future-thought leaders in the development of the product roadmap for our enterprise products.

By using our internal applications and experiences to build better products for our enterprise customers, we have the potential to solve the challenges that other IT organizations face. We’re heavily involved in dogfooding our products once they’ve been developed, but we also see a role closer to the front end of the product development cycle. Business Intelligence is one area where we will be partnering with the product groups and Finance as we build out our internal capability. I want to ensure that any product we develop to meet the needs of Microsoft, also meets the needs of the marketplace.

He was also very frank about the current state of affairs in MSIT relative to the vision. He was quoted in China Information World (no link, sorry) as saying that “The systems Microsoft now uses are already 14 years old and based on previous versions of windows, so from a systems capability perspective, they cannot support the needs of the growing business.”

All in all, I was pretty impressed with what he’s setting out to do and the opportunity not only from a business perspective from from an industry perspective as well. Hence the whole “going to work in his division” thing. Of course, “Thought Leadership” is one of the things Architecture Strategy works on very diligently, so in some ways this isn’t as big a change as it might be. On the other hand, giving advice to people solving hard problems is a lot different than solving those hard problems yourself.

I’ll be starting this new role pretty much immediately, so expect the less-than-usual blogging to continue for the time being. But my external visibility on my blog and presenting at conferences and executive briefings is one of the things they hired me for. So after I get my bearings things should be back to normal. At that point, I’ll hopefully be able to talk in more specific terms about what we’re tackling on my new team. I hope to shake things up quite a bit over there and deliver the play by play here on my blog.

Massive thanks to John deVadoss and the rest of the Architecture Strategy Team. Back when I started, I think Simon Guest was the only other blogger on the team. Now there are only three non-bloggers on the whole team. It’s been a great three years and I’ve been a part of so many great accomplishments:

I always joke that if I ever left Microsoft, I wouldn’t want to go work for another technical company. Now, I get the chance to go affect the business of a Fortune 50 business while not having to leave Microsoft. Pretty sweet.

See you on the other side.


Sounds like a cool job. Congratulations and good luck on your new role :)
Congratulations on your new endeavors. It sounds like a really cool job. Like you said you get to "go affect the business of a Fortune 50 business while not having to leave Microsoft". Very cool!
Congratulations!! Good luck and enjoy your new role :)