Editor's Note: It's All In How You Apply Technology - InformationWeek
Business & Finance
05:39 PM
Stephanie Stahl
Stephanie Stahl
Moving UEBA Beyond the Ground Floor
Sep 20, 2017
This webinar will provide the details you need about UEBA so you can make the decisions on how bes ...Read More>>

Editor's Note: It's All In How You Apply Technology

Thanks to the many readers who wrote in this past week about the failure rate of IT projects (see "Adapt Or Prepare To Pay The Price"). Some were quick to point out that a 30% failure rate is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, says Steven Van Dyke of Kansas City, Mo., "A large part of the 'failures' in IT projects are simply indications that businesses rely on their IT departments to do things that have never been tried before, at least by that company. The fact that only a third of these 'let's try this' projects 'fail' is actually a tribute to the abilities of the IT industry."

Another adds, "The IT department has to fit dozens of incompatible new technologies under different licensing schemes together into a seamless whole to be used by people of widely differing backgrounds. It's all about research, invention, innovation, and, yes, risk. If such an enterprise can achieve a 70% success rate, that's a bloody miracle."

Well said. In fact, let me be clear. I'm not trying to put all the blame on the IT folks charged with developing and building world-class organizations. Perhaps failures come from lack of resources, inadequate funding, poor performance measures, or buggy software.

In many cases, technology is the easy part. The tough part is how you apply it to your business, how you optimize your processes, how you find new levels of collaboration, how you reduce risk, how you become more competitive, how you please your customers more, and how you constantly seek innovation.

Here's what some other readers had to say:

"Internally, we in IT must demand better from our own departments. At the same time, we also need to demand proper support from our suppliers and products that work almost exactly like they're advertised."

"The reason most of these failures occur has to do with the difficulties people have with change. The new system is invariably different than what was used before, and there always seem to be folks who take any minor glitch as an opportunity to point out how 'it'll never work' and revert to their old ways."

OK, so while many readers have me convinced that a 30% failure rate really isn't that bad, I'll still argue that failure to react to change could lead to a lot worse than an IT project gone bad.

Stephanie Stahl

To discuss this column with other readers, please visit Stephanie Stahl's forum on the Listening Post.

To find out more about Stephanie Stahl, please visit her page on the Listening Post.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
IT Strategies to Conquer the Cloud
Chances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll