The ‘business/IT divide’ appears to be bigger than ever at the very time when business technology is converging and everyone and everything is becoming connected. So it is little wonder we have so much real-world debate on new business technology models and how business can embrace them! At the very time when we are seeing the exponential rise of communities of interaction, mesh working, information centricity and co-value creation/value networks as new cornerstones of business management, the business/IT divide is getting worse, not better – and so inherent business potential is still elusive on the scale one might expect.
If you ask people in business what one of the biggest root causes of problems they face today, almost without exception you’ll hear about the ‘business/IT divide’. This might not surface immediately – but progress the discussion a little and at some point there will be an issue – perhaps around business complexity, business agility, customer interaction or business information – that ultimately leads to a problem with ‘IT’ – and more precisely, a problem with the business/IT divide.
If you ask people in IT the same question, you’ll get the same answer. So at least ‘business’ and ‘IT’ agree on something! The unfortunate reality is this is a crisis of communication which is now so entrenched and intractable that many people cease to notice it any more.
About 10 years ago I joined a unit in Capgemini called ‘Technology Consulting Group’. Years before this the unit helped establish a community which to this day incorporates a simple philosophy amongst its Values – that the business/IT divide is not only addressable but that it is inevitable it will be somehow – and that business and technology are equal partners in the practices that make this real.
I think we have discovered a step forward in the journey of addressing the divide. Nigel Green and I, with the support of many compatriots, have attempted to do the discovery justice and share it through a book ‘Lost in Translation – A handbook for information systems in the 21st century’. The website is
A holy grail it is not, but a complementary step forward we believe it is. We hope you find the thinking useful and we’d love to hear your views.
Ps – I’ve a few preview copies of the book available to share on a first serve basis – please drop me a line.