Dear IT: No One Likes Petulant Teenagers
Nobody will win if IT and business leaders continue playing Mortal Kombat. Let's step back and redefine our roles.
A recent Harvard Business Review blog post by management professor Terri Griffith finally asks the question: "Are we asking too much of our CIOs?" It is a great question. IT organizations have taken on more and more (and more) as technology pervades every aspect of business and consumer life. Something's gotta give.
From provisioning, operating and securing the sprawling Internet of Things to driving revenue and leading innovation in general, IT is now accountable for the success of virtually the entire business. Almost every important business process innovation of the last two decades has relied on technology: from CRM, ERP and supply chain management in the last two decades to social media, big data, consumerization and software-as-a-service in this one.
As the old maxim goes: Never give accountability without authority. But somewhere in the era of Ethernet and TCP/IP, not only did IT in general start to become mission critical for more and more people, but like a nightmare project, the scope of IT started to creep without commensurate change orders. For example, first IT managers were responsible for building on-premises security systems for their networks, then camera systems, elevators, phones and even fuel pumps became de facto "information technology" objects. Those "things" landed in IT's lap when the folks who installed them went on to spread sunshine elsewhere.
All of this activity was good, because it avoided building out redundant infrastructure and saved companies boatloads of cash. Trouble was and is, much of this work, even some phone projects, happened without IT's direction, leading to problems that could have been avoided with proper planning. IT organizations started to get used to a pattern of sneak attacks of responsibility without resourcing. It became the new normal.... Read full story on InformationWeek
Post a comment to the original version of this story on InformationWeek