Conversation Between Facilities and IT, Lost in Translation

After listening to Mike Manos’s chiller side chat and writing a short blog post.  It got me thinking about  the passionate conversations I’ve listened to between data center facilities and IT, and part of the problem is captured in understanding “Lost in Translation

If you haven’t seen the movie, here is an explanation of a reoccurring theme.

The concept of "lost in translation" occurs throughout the film with a number of meanings.[1] Bob (Bill Murray), a Japanese director (Yutaka Tadokoro), and an interpreter (Takeshita) are on a set, filming the whiskey commercial. In several exchanges, the director speaks several long sentences with passion, followed by a brief, inadequate translation from the interpreter. The scene (like all the film's Japanese dialogue) is played without subtitles.

Director [in Japanese, to the interpreter]: The translation is very important, O.K.? The translation.
Interpreter [in Japanese, to the director]: Yes, of course. I understand.
Director [in Japanese, to Bob]: Mr. Bob. You are sitting quietly in your study. And then there is a bottle of Suntory whiskey on top of the table. You understand, right? With wholehearted feeling, slowly, look at the camera, tenderly, and as if you are meeting old friends, say the words. As if you are Bogie in Casablanca, saying, "Here's looking at you, kid," -- Suntory time!
Interpreter [In English, to Bob]: He wants you to turn, look in camera. O.K.?
Bob: Is that all he said?[2]

Now imagine you had an IT guy as the Director, going on and on about the needs for hosting new applications and hardware in the data center.  A facilities team listening to the IT guy, and the outside data center design team translating the needs of IT to data center specification.

Do you think something is lost in translation?

This is all kind of funny as I am Japanese American, have taken twenty trips to Tokyo working on multiple products with many Japanese companies.  And, other friends who have gone through the pain recognize the patterns and mistakes that cause a lost in translation.

Watching IT folks and data center folks communicate is entertaining as they don’t understand each other even though they are both speaking English.

There is a way to solve the problem, but it requires people who can think about knowledge modeling to continuously assess cross system opportunities for improvement and optimization based on the changing requirements and system capabilities.

There are some people who can do this and they’ll laugh at the connection between “Lost in Translation” and data center conversations between facilities and IT.