I was thinking about IT, and how the business community can find IT services relevant to their work but not find the IT department relevant, something which was shown in our most recent CIO survey. It occurred to me that perhaps we (the IT community) are working from some wrong, or at least obsolete premises. The tendency in IT is to put things into nice, neat boxes. Our background with programming logic makes us do that, it’s to be expected that we’d like things nice and logical. But it also seems to me that we tend to build towards models that are too static – if we just get this enterprise data model done, all our IT problems will be solved. And I think that’s where the challenge comes in – conventional IT seems to build to static models, and plan for clean neat solutions, when the world no longer, or never did work that way in the first place. If so, perhaps that’s why we see so many “shadow IT” groups in business units – because they are able to adapt quicker to changes, or to work better with ambiguity by working “closer to the user”. Perhaps we should be looking at a change of premise, a different outlook for IT overall, one that helps balance the laudable goals of enterprise architecture with the realities of a quickly changing IT landscape where “good enough” represents the essence of another premise. I’m asking myself why the IT department doesn’t matter, playing over and over the answers I’ve seen in big shops and concluding we try to do too much and that putting more “IT” in the hands of the business might be the answer we need. What do you think?
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