Hoffman's been at the helm of Metallect for four years. The company's software helps businesses understand the impact that changes to apps will have on their IT environments. When he gets restless, he goes wake surfing in one of the "pregnant puddles" that Texans like to call lakes.
CEO of Metallect
Interview by Larry Greenemeier
Photograph by Liz Harmon
If It Ain't Broke...
"Every time you have to go in and change something, there's a good chance that you're going to break something else."
Avoid A Black Eye
One insurance company, Hoffman says, made a major change to its claims-processing system, which introduced errors into the system that caused 48 hours of downtime to an application that claims adjusters needed. "When a system goes down, it costs revenue, drives away customers, and gives IT a black eye."
Big businesses spend more than three-quarters of their IT budgets on application maintenance, according to Forrester Research. Unfortunately, this makes it look as if IT departments tend to break things. "You don't get an increase in your IT budgets because the company doesn't feel like it's getting value."
Wake surfers aren't dragged 30 feet behind a boat like water-skiers; they take the waves from a few feet behind the stern, where they can ride "the perfect perpetual wave." It's a sport created in the Gulf of Mexico "by lunatics chasing large ocean liners."
The 43-year-old Hoffman has been wake surfing for three years. "I've got a 14-year-old and a 16-year-old, and if I want to hang with them, wake surfing's what I have to do."
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