For reasons that are far beyond comprehension, somewhere along the line a large percentage of IT people have adopted an ‘us vs. them’ attitude toward how they manage technology within an organization. They become obsessively focused on a cat and mouse game of how they can keep users from doing things they don’t want them doing. The users being equally as creative are happy participants in this game and can be amazingly creative in finding ways around whatever restrictions IT “thinks” have been imposed.
Those that have ever worked with itSynergy know our attitude towards technology couldn’t be more different. Our fundamental belief is that the technology is here to support the business. It is the business that needs to dictate the requirements and it is the responsibility of the technology professionals to figure out how to get it done while keeping systems safe, secure, reliable, and usable.
In a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, they made this point beautifully and even went so far as to say the companies that empower their employees with technology get a competitive advantage over those that try to lock everything down. We could not agree more.
The thing that leaves us scratching our heads is why IT would not embrace this trend rather than fighting it. When itSynergy started in 1997 a significant portion of our revenue came from starting rogue projects inside of very large residential construction companies, so we know the story well. What is interesting is how often we see ‘traditional’ technology projects inside of organizations with the same issues: users are fighting it because it doesn’t make sense and doesn’t fit with what they need to accomplish, and IT is struggling with getting it implemented and working right.
If it is so difficult to implement software under this old fashioned model, why wouldn’t IT departments embrace the model of having users take the workload of finding the right application off of IT? Let people find what they need to be amazingly productive and have a real, measurable impact on business performance. Once they’ve found it, help them to make smart informed decisions around implementation and ensure they are aware of and willing to accept any associated risks.
Then turn them loose and let them work their magic!