IT Doesn’t Matter … Redux

Every few years the conversation about IT and Budget Owners comes back around.

Notice I didn’t say IT versus Budget Owners. I didn’t say that because I don’t think it should be a battle. There is a need for a change in the way IT is perceived, positioned and played. One that I call Collaborative IT. This does not mean exclusively in the sense of the tools and technologies being deployed. It means that IT brings value, order and relevance to the traditional IT functions.

imageThis morning a great discussion popped up on Facebook from Dan Holme of IT Unity around this idea.

“We are the ones with the budget. If IT can’t deliver we will go around them.”
~ Dan Holme, Principal at IT Unity

Dan has been on both sides of this discussion and I know he has plenty of stories to tell about this. Especially from his work on the Olympics. In the end … I think the Olympics are the perfect example of IT working WITH Budget Owners to GET IT DONE!

Where IT means the technical teams that are tasked with making it look seamless and Budget Owners means the people at NBC paying for their expertise.

IT Doesn’t Matter

When I saw this post on Facebook and started reading thru the comments I had flashbacks to the heated discussions from over 10 years ago when Nicholas Carr published his seminal article in the Harvard Business Review and aptly named it “IT Doesn’t Matter” – which almost immediately caused a stir from many different stakeholders, pundits and industry “experts” that all knew better. In the ensuing 11 years I’d say most of his assumptions have proven to be quite true. The Commoditization of IT has inherently changed the balance of power. However, there is still an absolute need for professional guidance to design, develop and deploy solutions. IT DOES MATTER!

Collaborative IT

Perhaps this is one of the goals of IT Unity and the work Dan and the team have been putting together. One where IT continues to have a seat at the table and Business Owners look to them as a resource AND an expert in what they can deliver. As Nicholas Carr pointed out in the series of “IT Doesn’t Matter” articles there is a need for deeper thinking on the commoditization of processes and services. Both for who delivers them and as Dan pointed out in his quote that spurred this post … for who pays for them.

Thanks Dan for bringing this up. It was a great chance to reflect and remember how far we have come.

Image Credit: By Dan Holme


Jeff is a expert in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He is an international speaker and writer on the Intersection of People and Process in Social, Mobile and Cloud Computing. He is a contributing author toElite Daily, Yahoo, US News and to the Personal Branding Blog. Over the past 20 years he has worked with customers and partners to design, develop and deploy solutions around the world. He has worked for Microsoft, FileNet (IBM), K2, Captaris, Open Text, Kofax, Kodak and Winshuttle. Currently he is the Director of Strategic Alliances and Gimmal.

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