principle is an observation about a commonly-seen pattern in
hierarchical corporate cultures in which employees are promoted based on
current performance rather than aptitude for the roles they are being
According to the Peter principle, employees continue to be promoted as long as they perform well in their roles; as a result, they rise to their level of incompetence: the point at which they fail to do a good job. That pattern negatively impacts employee productivity and corporate performance because it tends to mean that people end up in positions where they are incapable of doing a good job and that, furthermore, they tend to stay in those positions because -- since they aren't performing well -- they are not promoted. Eventually, as the Peter principle plays out, all positions in an organization could be held by individuals who are incapable of fulfilling their roles.
Laurence J. Peter first formulated and named the phenomenon in 1969, in a satirical book "The Peter Principle," where he stated that "In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence ... in time every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out its duties ... Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence."
Peter called the tendency to "kick employees upstairs" (promote them to management positions) percussive sublimation and suggested it was a method used to keep them from hampering more productive workers. Percussive sublimation, in turn, is related to the Dilbert principle, which maintains that the real purpose of the hierarchy is to provide managerial roles that will minimize the ability of those employees to interfere with the actual work being accomplished by more productive staff members.
With the rapid evolution of the public cloud that brings instant advantages of economies of scale, elasticity and agility, IT and data center administrators are re-evaluating their investments to deploy or scale applications on-premise. They either deploy new applications in the public cloud or use the public cloud for additional needs to augment the on-premise private cloud. In either case, what enterprises end up with is a hybrid cloud environment. Other enterprises start in the cloud with no physical data center footprint, commonly referred to as a born-in-the-cloud model. Unlike SaaS environments, in which application ownership and security of information is the responsibility of the SaaS provider, an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), or public cloud environment, places the responsibility of application and information security on the enterprise.
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