“Agile” – It is defined as quick and well-coordinated in movement or marked by an ability to think quickly. In the world of IT, it is adaptive and focuses on the changing realities of the marketplace and business. IT has been slow to adapt to the needs of the business. We haven’t exactly been “agile” in our approach to managing our infrastructure and applications given the strategies we employ to meet the strategic objectives of the organization. While some organizations have changed in the last 5 years, there are others that are very ‘old school’. Why does IT exist if not to meet the needs of the business or the consumer?
Some could argue that the business doesn’t partner with IT when creating their plans. In their organization, this may be true but why not? In response to a survey conducted by the IT Governance Institute, 94% of business executives recognized that IT was important to the delivery of the business strategy and vision. Business executives clearly understood the value that IT can bring to the organization.
As a technology organization, it may feel like the business doesn’t understand the cost and complexities of providing the technology. To the business, it seems as though IT is inflexible. IT is unable to respond quickly to the changing needs of the business. How does everyone get past the stalemate so we can get down to the business of ensuring objectives can be met?
In a world where the pace of change is accelerating, enlightened CIOs recognize that IT agility matters much more than past success. They are strengthening relationships with the business and involving the business in risk related decisions. They are creating feedback loops to gather information quickly not only about existing issues with technology but about business related challenges. They are recognizing that sometimes the IT organization is not the best option to support the business in a specific task and when this occurs, IT’s role should be to provide consulting and subject matter expertise ensuring that the vendor or technology of choice will meet the long term needs of the business without creating any additional risk or unexpected costs. Finally, enlightened CIOs are using best practices to guide them in their service management efforts but they recognize that these principles and processes should enable fast, effective delivery of a service while managing the related risk. The pace of IT should not be burdened by process. It should be enabled and strengthened by adopting best practices.
“Agile” IT organizations do exist. Consider how you can enable agility in your organization. How can your IT organization enable the business to rapidly respond to the changing marketplace? What changes need to occur to allow IT to react quickly to the changing needs of the business?
At AdOPT, we are transformation consultants focused on IT strategy, innovation, process, and culture change to improve efficiency, increase effectiveness, and optimize costs. We wrote the book on organizational change for IT. For more information, contact us at 520-591-2427 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.