Turmoil in the IT department

TechRepublic is a great source of information regarding the world of professional IT. Not only technology issues are addressed but staffing, strategy, vision and management from a higher level.

The latest item that caught my eye is discussion over the new model for the IT department . . . you can check it out here.


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More on MSPs and the new IT department

There seems to be more and more discussion in the IT world about Managed Services Providers and the duality of the IT department – strategy vs. tactical.

This item from Jason Hiner at TechRepublic speculates on the future of the IT department.
“Sanity check: Is IT moving toward an inevitable split between in-house strategy and outsourced operations?”

Some very serious – not just vendors – names are mentioned in the article as clearly identifying the two distinct roles and activities of an IT department.

I’m curious to know – does your organization think this way?

Dean Owen

The O word

To outsource or not to outsource – that is the question!(?)

IDC Canada press release “IDC Canada finds a wide gap between outsourcing clients’ expectations and the services provided” Any one surprised? BTW: this is what IDC Canada is about.

Another take on the survey results is this IT World Canada article by Briony Smith – “Canadian outsourcing satisfaction rates plummet

I can’t afford to purchase the original survey results from IDC, but if you’re thinking about outsourcing or you are not being satisfied by your current outsourced services provider – maybe it would be a good investment for you.

Briony Smith mentions such nuggets as:

  • “Business satisfied with their outsourcers dropped from 50 per cent (2004 survey) to 33 per cent.”
  • “Relationship management satisfaction went from 71 per cent (2004 survey) to 54 per cent”

 I don’t want to pirate the article but I couldn’t help but nod my head in agreement as I read through it. There was mention of Outsourcers not being flexible, the changing role of IT in business, clients are far more demanding, service delivery issues and measurement, practices and processes implementation…Hey wait a minute! Isn’t this what they also say about in-house IT departments? Aren’t these issues the very things the vendor sales person told the president, over a round of golf or cocktails, that their company could address and fix?

Don’t get me wrong – outsourcing is not a bad thing, we outsorce many things in our life – everything from making shoes to building a house. If we feel we are not getting value for money, or the product is shoddy we don’t think twice about taking it back to the vendor and complaining. Why dosen’t this happen more often with outsourced IT? Don’t forget, I make my living by being an outsourced consultant. My goal is to deliver value for money and to ensure my clients get a strong ROI on their investment in IT and in me.

In other blog posts, I’ve taken issue with the traditional outsource model and even offered a new take (not just mine but others as well) on the best way for a client to get value for money spent on IT.

It finally looks like enterprises are getting wise and putting presure on IT vendors to deliver. Good for them!

Dean Owen

Marketing Departments and Web Services

Many web services departments report to marketing. This was a natural step in the evolution of web services within a company. Marketing the enterprise via the web is a very key strategy. But has the time come to move to the next point in the evolution?

Here I go putting my foot in my mouth – maybe even both feet! This thought came to me the other day…web services as it’s own department or even division reporting to the executive via a COW or Chief Officer of the Web! Maybe CWO, Chief Web Officer would be easier to handle!

Web services has many great offerings to the enterprise as a whole. Limiting them to Marketing prevents them from contributing to the strategic needs of all departments and business units.

The only way an enterprise can leverage the ultimate potential of the web, web 1.0 or web 2.0, is to have web services step out of Marketing and into the mainstream. By the way – not to IT Services, but on their own. IT Services would become another client of web services such as marketing, sales, production, finance, HR etc will be their clients and recipients of the benefits of web technology and strategies.



Contest – Worst Canadian Corporate Website

I’m working on a contest for the worst Canadian Corporate Website…and you get to be the nominators and the judges. I just need to work out the details – rules, voting, prize etc. and will post it here.

What prompted me to start this was an exercise in frustration in attempting to navigate the Telus website(s)…which is my nomination by the way. They say the future is friendly! I sure hope so…because the present sure isn’t!

At first thought, I’m not looking for the worst companies, but specifically bad websites. You know the kind – poorly designed user interface, frustrating customer experience, old content, broken or outdated links, questionable colour schemes…

Which reminds me…I need to take a hard look at this site…as it grows, is it becoming hard to navigate?

 Dean Owen

Wikinomics – have you been wikified yet?

Check out this book – ‘Wikinomics – how mass collaboration changes everything‘ by Don Tapscott and Anthony D Williams. They also have a website http://www.wikinomics.com/ with lots of interesting bits. An easy to read book putting forth the idea that the next (and in some cases current) business model is the adoption of the social network and open source concept for business. I really enjoyed it and it certainly made a lot of sense to me.

Two quick observations…

  • They cite the same companies over and over again as examples that support their points. Although these companies are multinationals and worth billions…I would have liked to have more examples.
  • Is this a totally new management and business model, which will eventually reign supreme over all others? Or will it be successful in only some cases and just be an alternative?

My favourite chapter was Chapter 9 – The Wiki Workplace and their profile of the Geek Squad.  

I come from a command and control management environment. That was what I was taught – through formal education and on the job observation. Although I always felt that I was more of a benevolent despot when compared to some other managers. After reading the book and looking back at some of the things I did as a manager/supervisor, I can actually see that I was attempting to implement some wikified type strategies – though certainly not to the degree talked about in Wikinomics.

Continue reading “Wikinomics – have you been wikified yet?”

Episode 1 – Is the IT department dead?

A very hot topic…why did I make my first podcast from deanowen.wordpress.com this one? It was on my mind and I wanted to get it into words. BTW…I am very optimistic about the future of the IT department in the enterprise…it is just that things are changing and we need to keep up and better yet, lead some of these changes.

Play the Episode #1 – Is the IT Department Dead? audio here

download original audio file

I’m looking forward to your comments . . .

 Dean Owen