Points of IT Control

I’ve been inspired by a couple of pieces of writing this week: the first, an interesting blog post from my former BBC colleague, and Social Media guru Euan Semple, and the second a tweet that I have since lost, but will paraphrase as “Cloud Computing isn’t killing the IT Department, they’re committing hari kiri.”
What all of this has got me to thinking that one of the biggest challenges that IT departments face in this rapidly changing world is the expectations of the organisations in which they operate.

Traditionally, IT has three points of control: control over the technology used in an organisation (software and hardware); control over the data generated by the organisation (although not the information or the knowledge); and control over the costs associated with technology. What the Cloud, the Internet, and consumerisation is doing to breaking down the control that the IT department has over the technology. But organisations still expect IT to govern the other two elements, and hence things break down.

In the old world, control of cost and data came from standardisation of the technology. Fragment the technology and the models that exerted control in the other two dimensions break down. It puts IT into an impossible situation, and one in which organisational expectations will need to change to allow the Internet-led changes to be embraced rather than rejected.

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