AIIM report on Enterprise 2.0

Thanks to IT World Canada for linking to this item from AIIM – the enterprise content management association … Enterprise 2.0 – What’s The Real Story! 

The headline from IT World Canada reads: Enterprise 2.0 report: IT managers take back seat. Read the article to get their take on the report from AIIM – but in a nutshell it talks about the fact that IT managers are most likely to be number 3 in leading their organization in web 2.0 or enterprise 2.0.

I’m not surprised! Why should they be the leaders in Enterprise 2.0? Other than the fact that it uses some technology to function, Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 really have nothing to do with the IT department. The IT World Canada author (Shane Schick) did a good thing when he included the quote from OpenText’s Bill Forquer, executive vice-president of marketing,…..

“We’ve seen that with records management over the last number of years. Something like Enron happens and the awareness of records management and policies is suddenly a boardroom-level conversation,” he said. “Part of the business and IT groups that are focused on work-group effectiveness and collaboration could actually benefit from 2.0 technologies and capabilities.”

Records management has it’s own set of experts so why should IT management have anything to do with RM other than providing support for the technology. The same thing happened with web services.

Many years ago when the world wide web first appeared to average computer users, there was lots of denial by IT departments to support it. Eventually the web made it’s way into the enterprise and web services ended up in other departments or divisions such as marketing. There are stories galore of where IT managers did everything from ignoring it to aggressively stand in the way of web being adopted by the organization. Needless to say they were run over and in some cases may even appear to embrace it.

I see the history of web repeating itself with Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0. We are at the point where some get it, most don’t but eventually the enterprise will make it a part of their daily operation and we will grind to a halt when it stops working or they try to take it away from us.



Extinction of the IT department

Extinction is a strong word to use for what many view as a fundamental business service. The need and value of IT to the organization isn’t in fear of dying out – just the departments and the people who run those departments. In order to survive we all need to adapt, evolve and improvise to some degree.

This article from ZD Net… 5 tips to prevent IT extinction Posted by Michael Krigsman brings up those important issues that pit the IT department and the enterprise against each other. It’s hard to believe that these are still issues in this enlightened day and age, but they are in many environments. Read the article for the details – and they are very good details, not just the rehashing of ‘alignment with business needs’ that’s been beat to death.

Here are the headings and my thoughts on them . . .

Continue reading “Extinction of the IT department”

IT/Business Integration

Jason Hiner executive editor of Tech Republic has a good article in his post in Tech Sanity Check – Sanity check: If you’re working on IT-business alignment, you’ve already lost.  There are two key phrases in the article that caught my eye:

  • As you can see, this is not about IT/business alignment. It’s about IT/business integration.”

Are the IT departments in these large corporations that far removed from business that they need to be sliced’n’diced and assimilated by business units?

  • “…better explaining IT spending, getting other leaders to think of technology as a business enabler…”

How many business leaders (particularly the older generation) think of IT as a cost centre and utility rather than the ‘enabler’ that it can be?

This was part one of a two parter from Jason Hine . . . can hardly wait for the next installment.

BTW: In the last year I’ve been talking to a lot of small businesses that have less than 50 computers in the organization. What I like about these companies is the close relationship IT and the rest of the organization enjoy. There is also a higher level of commitment to IT as a business enabler from management than I would have thought. The IT staff are still spread a little thin but due to the hot Alberta economy there is funding available to address the IT resource requirements. After all that’s why I was there talking to them. What can the large enterprise learn from these smaller companies in regards to IT/business integration? I don’t have the details but I do know there is something there . . . for the most part the people in these small organizations were very happy with their IT  – technology and people. There was one IT department that was struggling to turn themselves around. The CIO described it as a 180 degree shift. The challenge put forward to me was the RTC – resistance to change, of the IT staff to this new way of doing business. Unfortunately I didn’t get this contract. Which was too bad, I was really looking forward to the challenge. I wonder how they are making out?


Supporting employee owned IT

Been there, done that, lost sleep over it . . . how far should corporate IT go to support user/employee devices?

Here’s a good article from TechRepublic on Gartner’s advice . . .on the latest support issue – employee owned SmartPhones.

In looking over Gartner’s suggested best practices I saw things we attempted to apply years ago when PDAs came out. We applied limited support definitions through the use of signed Service Level Agreements (SLAs). As usual, most folks did okay on their own but (remember the 80/20 rule?) we did spend lots of time on some of the employees wanting to use these devices. When new IT management came in they declared these SLAs a bad thing and they were destroyed and support as required by the employee was offered and delivered as required. Good PR move – bad resource allocation move.

In small companies the IT department (usually 1 or 2 techs) don’t have time or the skills to support non-corporate technology. On the other hand, in a small organization – say 10 to 20 employees, the IT department can be closer to the user community and may be able to offer advice on non-corporate IT issues easier and with less impact on daily workloads.

The key is for senior management to make the decision on whether IT should support non-corporate technology and (this is really important) back it up. If the answer is NO – don’t make exceptions (including the president) and if the answer is YES – cut the IT folks some slack if they are out fixing someones smartphone when the email system goes down.