“The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” —Archilochus
Have you ever heard this quote? It’s a fragment from an ancient Greek poem, which has since been used repeatedly in the business world as a way of understanding strategy—specifically, how to make the most of building a grand strategy. If you are thinking about how best to develop your cloud strategy and how managed file transfer (MFT) fits into it, you might benefit from a closer look at hedgehogs and foxes.
How a Hedgehog Thinks
When we talk about the existence of hedgehogs and foxes in business, we’re really saying that there are two general ways of approaching the creation of a strategy. A hedgehog, in this sense, would be someone who embodies the following:
- Deep Focus: They know their core mission and focus all their resources on it, avoiding superfluous activities
- Purpose-driven: Adopted one way of looking at the world and the role of their organization in it
- Results-oriented: No rest until they have achieved their desired outcomes
In a nutshell, that means that people who think like hedgehogs tend to be the champions of an overarching vision that creates specific outcomes, without a lot of thought for how that vision is accomplished. They don’t typically get involved in the minutiae of what specifications, procedures or requirements are called for with regard to a specific tool or solution.
How a Fox Thinks
Foxes, on the other hand, are concerned with all the things a hedgehog is not. Someone who is a strategic fox considers details in abundance. They tend to be less concerned with what the vision is (putting a lot of trust in the vision provided by hedgehogs), and much more concerned with charting a path toward success, understanding what could prevent forward progress and considering every facet of how to get things done. Generally speaking, foxes possess:
- Aggregation: The ability to be open to new knowledge, use multiple sources of information, and work in teams
- Meta-cognition: Insight into how one thinks while being aware of their own biases
- Humility: A willingness to acknowledge uncertainty, admit errors, change one’s mind based on new evidence and adapt accordingly
Getting Your Cloud Managed File Transfer Strategy Right
If you are in the process of building a cloud managed file transfer strategy right now, particularly a tech strategy where vital resources are at stake, consider whether you are a fox or a hedgehog. The most effective organizations tend to be those that acknowledge there are individuals that possess each of these kinds of strategic perspectives and that both are needed. Instead of figuring out which strategic thinking style is superior, we recommend a balanced approach that incorporates each strategy’s strengths while also acknowledging their respective gaps in method.
Consider this approach: First, think like a Hedgehog. Get your hedgehog strategists thinking about the mission first. What is the problem we are trying to solve? What outcomes are we committed to achieving? Is this consistent with our organizational purpose and identity?
Then, think like a Fox. Get your foxes to contemplate a strategy that considers the details of the methods, timing, execution, and resources required to realize your grand strategy. Where is the budget going for this, and what ROI targets are we committed to? How many people will be required to competently handle the work and processes that will achieve the aims of our strategy? The list of questions could go on and on.
Now, when it comes to something concrete, like whether or not an organization should move their critical, compliance-driven managed file transfer to the Cloud, what questions should hedgehogs and foxes be asking? Here is just a sample of the kinds of questions foxes and hedgehogs might ask. Keep in mind that both perspectives are not only helpful, but essential in creating a complete and functional strategy that matches an organization’s purpose while making the most of its capabilities.
What Does the Hedgehog Say?
- Is secure file transfer an essential part of running our organization?
- How do we ensure compliance so we can carry out our mission?
- What is the best way to implement MFT or cloud MFT to minimize the impact on my IT team and other value creators while keeping the focus on our mission?
What Does the Fox Say?
- What kinds of MFT services and capabilities do we need to provide to meet our service level objectives (SLOs)?
- Would it be better to build or buy a cloud managed file transfer solution?
- How does the ROI profile change if we move our MFT server to the Cloud?
- What if we opt for MFT-as-a-Service?
- When do we need this cloud managed file transfer solution operational?
- How many FTE’s do we need to sustain this service?
- What kind of onboarding is needed to get stakeholders to adopt our chosen cloud MFT?
As your organization finds the answers to these questions, it becomes immediately clear that security is the essential IT investment. Cloud Managed File Transfer is something that many organizations may have overlooked in the past but can no longer ignore in the future. Securely sharing sensitive files within an organization and with external customers and partners is now a ubiquitous, necessary process that has to be done right every single time. With the cost of cybersecurity breaches reaching into the tens of millions, and with organizational trust and reputation on the line, every file transfer solution can be a bet-the-business exercise.
Is creating a cloud managed file transfer application part of your organization’s core mission and competency? For most organizations, definitely not. And with IT teams burdened with both development and infrastructural operations tasks, Managed File Transfer is one that that you can definitely take off of their plate so they can focus on delivering the business and operational capabilities that matter most.
MFT in the Cloud
Who in your organization are the hedgehogs, and who are the foxes? Getting both strategic perspectives involved can pay long-term dividends in your Cloud Strategy and especially in something as small and essential as Managed File Transfer.
When your organization is ready to focus on its mission while ensuring that sensitive files are always secure and compliant, consider Progress MOVEit, the leading MFT application. Thousands of organizations worldwide use Progress MOVEit for secure and compliant transfer of sensitive, mission-critical data. MOVEit provides full visibility of files both at-rest and in-transit with transfers encrypted both internally and externally. MOVEit also offers automation options that help to eliminate human error and improve operational efficiency without the need for programming.
MOVEit Cloud is the Progress MFT-as-a-Service that can help your organization meet HIPAA, SOC2, PCI-DSS and other strict compliance requirements, so your teams can get back to doing what they do best!
Contact a Progress Sales professional today to get your free trial of MOVEit Cloud.