re: New Technologies Require New Organizational Approaches
Dear MyWor1d and dangeluc,
Let's see if I can state it more clearly... what I am suggesting is that there is a vast difference between someone who is an expert practitioner in one infrastructure area (say servers) who can apply his engineering skill more broadly versus a generalist, who has no in depth mastery of any one component area and is practicing 'administrative skills' across a broad range of decisions. When I have seen organizations make key decisions by such generalist (versus an expert apply his skills more broadly), I have seen much poorer choices and results that then had to be remediated.
The key point is: leveraged business knowledgeable experts to handle those functions aligned best to the business, and leverage strong teams of experts to drive high performance for those functions best aligned as utilities. Feel free to augment either team with outside experts that can lend value, but don't burden either team with generalists, that do not understand any of the underlying technologies. I would suggest these teams easily outperform a team of generalists. And by the way, my read of the labor market is that no one wants to be called a generalist.
Now, let's talk about risk and your statement that risk is just one of several business drivers. Please recalibrate to the framework I laid out and one often used where a comprehensive set of drivers for a service or product are:
- business feature or capability
- cost or efficiency
- time to market
- regulatory and risk
Generally, you work to optimize all of these dimensions. But the point of the post is that to optimize business feature or capability and time to market, you need to align closer to the business. And to optimize cost, quality, and risk (or regulatory) goals, you centralize or leverage a utility. Note, most companies have one Chief FInancial Officer and one Chief Risk Officer or Head of Legal Counsel for a reason - so they can control these domains across all of their business units. So let's not confuse risk as a 'business' driver, while it is inherent in any business activity, modern operational risk practices have clearly defined domains outside of the germane business products, features and services. Yes, you do want to integrate how you handle risk, particularly operational risk within a business units practices, but that does not mean it is common with business features or capabilities.
Perhaps this provides more clarity in these areas. Best, Jim