re: The New IT Rulebook: Not For The Faint Of Heart
While I don't disagree with the general idea behind this article that IT must adapt to changing business needs, I do strongly disagree with much of the detail in the article.
A few examples:
1. Much of the benefits of the cloud and social media are hyped by the vendors selling those solutions, not IT professionals or professionals of any sort within companies. These concepts are discussed as if they have equal benefit to all companies, in any industry, and of any size. This is just not fact. Retail and consumer products companies with a target demographic from 10 to 40 years old should embrace social media. I fully believe it can make a positive impact. However a chemical company selling business to business is going to get little to no benefit from any kind of social media solution. Similarly, public cloud services can be a real benefit for a start up or smaller companies below the $500 million mark. However, there comes a point of critical mass where it makes more sense for a number of reasons (cost being one of them) to develop infrastructure capability internally.....and it may be a private cloud, but that's for the company to decide the best architecture.
2. It's interesting that the only business function where this discussion is held is IT. HR, Sales, Marketing, and Finance all want their own IT independent solutions their way. However, no one but HR gets to set employee policy and no one other than finance determines how accounting entires are made. But everyone in the company is an expert on IT because they use technology as a consumer? As part of IT adapting to this new rulebook as you call it, some parity should be established. IT should work with business functions to quickly enable relevant and business case driven technologies while at the same time it is fair for IT to comment on finance inefficiencies or the poor sales planning processes, etc.
3. Speed in and of itself deliveries no value and at worst can create havoc. There's a keeping up with the Jones's mentality about implementing Cloud/SAAS solutions in many business functions, but there is no business case or strategic direction behind the implementation and little to no process design. As part of IT adapting new and speedier solutions, business functions must step up and deliver a business case for action and work hand in hand with IT by delivering an adequate process design to be automated. The development/technology implementation work is rarely the long pole in the tent. It is usually getting the solution to match requirements or match business process (because the business does not know what it wants) and organizational change management that make projects last so long and in some cases business integration (not technical integration) issues when the solution crosses functional areas. It would be so refreshing to see someone write an article chastising the business functions for lack of vision, little to no strategic direction, and no ability to articulate or design business process as a big part of the speed to delivery problem. But unfortunately, most of the articles are written by those selling cloud, SAAS, etc to the business functions so all we get is hype. And now we can add Information Week to the hype bucket. It would be nice if you actually provided some real answers and support for your target audience, but instead you write an article just like a vendor.