This post was originally written by Joseph Edward, CEO & Chief Innovation Officer at INVORG.
This is a question raised by many in organizational leadership. Over the years, technology has been brought into the organizations to resolve a specific problem and to assist some business functions such as accounting. This trend has been continuing for a long a time. IT eco system is concerned this approach has created a chaotic state. No wonder many organizations are beginning to establish architecture practice to bring some order from chaos.
Since municipalities are involved in delivering several services – in some cases hundreds of services – municipal IT systems have become very complex due to this shot gun approach to implementing IT solutions. This has caused the cost of running IT through the roof. In some cases, municipalities are spending millions of dollars annually. Almost 100% of the IT budget is spent on “keeping the lights on” or “running IT”. The cost has been increasing exponentially due to increases in license cost and annual maintenance costs. This is causing huge concern among organizational leadership. They see that the IT departments lag behind implementing business solutions to spark growth and transformation. This is creating a perception among organizational leaders – “IT is a cost centre”. They see the IT department as being non- responsive and slow in meeting the business demands. Slowly but surely, business areas are beginning to establish shadow IT to get the technology they need to function. This trend is exasperated by the emergence of “cloud” and “mobile” technology. This trend is making people ask the question “Does IT matter?”.
To turn the corner,
- Organizational leadership must begin viewing IT as a strategic asset of the organization.
- Organizational leadership must stop viewing the IT department as a cost centre and begin viewing it as business enabling division.
- Organizational leadership and IT leadership must develop a business driven IT strategy aligned with organizational goals and objectives.
- IT leadership must develop an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) strategic framework. This framework must be integrated into the organizations integrated planning framework.
- IT leaders must develop a strategy to eliminate and/or converge most of the point solutions and to use platforms for most of their business needs.
- IT departments must stop saying “NO” to the demands and requests come from business division. Rather it should say “Yes, but…”
- IT departments must stop being hardware and software pushers and become brokers of IT services and information.
- IT departments must become business experts understanding the organizational objectives, business needs and functions, and help their business division acquire IT services effectively, efficiently and economically, in some cases using alternative methods.
As a first step, IT must be given a “seat” at the table. Unfortunately, some organizations are still keeping their IT in their back rooms. Unless IT leadership and organizational leadership work together collaboratively, the perception of IT is going to get worse before it gets better.
To read the complete blog and other blogs, please visit www.invorg.com
Joseph Edward is the CEO and Chief Innovation Officer for InvOrg. Joseph is an award winning, visionary leader who has led and contributed to several innovative solutions.