Old Approaches Are Killing IT's Ability To Succeed - InformationWeek
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IT Leadership // CIO Insights & Innovation
Commentary
2/11/2009
01:10 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
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Old Approaches Are Killing IT's Ability To Succeed

Want to maximize the odds that a business-technology project will fail? Then be sure to follow the age-old formal request process. Want to maximize the odds that you'll fail to harness the potential of SaaS and cloud computing? Then just keep playing the cop instead of the evangelist. Want to ensure projects are outdated? Then keep grinding through The Queue even after business conditions have changed. A guest columnist makes the case for new approaches.

Want to maximize the odds that a business-technology project will fail? Then be sure to follow the age-old formal request process. Want to maximize the odds that you'll fail to harness the potential of SaaS and cloud computing? Then just keep playing the cop instead of the evangelist. Want to ensure projects are outdated? Then keep grinding through The Queue even after business conditions have changed. A guest columnist makes the case for new approaches.My connection with this guest columnist came about in an unusual way: about a month ago, after I published a Global CIO column urging CIOs to begin aligning IT with their companies' customers instead of with some mythically detached thing called "the business," I got a letter from IT analyst Tom Lodahl telling me that, given where I had put my head, there was zero chance of me getting a sunburn.

So we went back and forth a bit on the validity of the whole "alignment" idea and while we did not reach a point where our thinking exactly, uh, "aligned," Tom's insights convinced me that his ideas should be shared with the Global CIO audience. Ergo, his column, "Business/IT Alignment Redux," was posted yesterday on InformationWeek.com.

Tom's column includes lots of compelling ideas, but to me the most eye-opening was his research showing that "Those who rely most on the formal request process have the worst alignment. The request process puts a formal wall between IT and the business, so communication on what is needed and what is possible is very constrained." His column includes a great graphic that shows the straight-line correlation between outdated ideas and bad outcomes.

You also can see more related work from Tom and his co-author and partner, Kay Redditt, at their Web site.

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