Why your IT/Technology department is creating its own rules?
In my previous blog article I was talking about island of culture IT/Technology Department maybe creating right under your nose. Today I will expand that thought to include the rules and processes your IT/Technology Department is implementing siloed from the rest of your company’s business processes.
Today almost all business needs some sort of technology to assist, accelerate or operate their business processes. While in most cases it is very clear what needs to be done to operate your business, when it comes to technology or IT, it does not work the same way. The reasons for the differences are plenty. For example, If you develop or operate some sort of proprietary technology, there is a technology life-cycle that cannot be ignored.
If you have an IT department (either internal or external) then you are facing a completely different set of goals that are only strategically aligned with you business objectives. On the day to day level this can create more burden than support of the business. I will dive deeper into reasons of this conflict in one of my next blog posts but today I will focus on proprietary technology.
For many organizations undertaking of implementation of proprietary technology resembles a house renovation: you have the start date, you have the (known today) scope, and you have the budget. But what you don’t have is confidence in the end date (often it never comes even with successful projects), the final scope (this is an elusive and ambitious target) and the final budget. I love the house construction or renovation analogy:
- The number one and the most difficult task is to find right general contractor.
- A good house cannot be build overnight.
- There is a certain order of operations and dependencies while building the house.
- Once you start the construction, new ideas pop up and change the original blueprint.
- Rarely are projects completed on time.
- Even more rarely projects are completed on budget.
Remembering and understanding statements 2 through 6 will help a company’s leadership when dealing with an internal or external Technology department. However, while some of these statements are pretty rigid, like order of operations and dependencies, others can be both managed and mitigated. This topic will require special attention – just watch for my next blog posts.
Today I will share my opinion on my statement #1: The most difficult task is to find the right general contractor.
Just like in the case of house construction, you always have a choice of GP: big company or a small company. Or you can even do it yourself!
Let’s look closer into each one of these options:
- DIY – if you have your own internal team, that has the necessary experience and expertise, capacity and the skill set, the answer is simple – Go for it. You are among the lucky few. However, the majority of companies even when having internal resources, will still have issue with one or more issue from that list: challenges with experience, capacity or skill set.
- Hire a Big Company – usually safest choice for risk-averse companies, yet most expensive of all. In the past value was guaranteed when using a Big Company. Today, however, often Big Companies would hire low cost/low skill offshore developers and hope to compensate by adding more overhead on the project/account management level to assure consistency of the service.
- Hire a Small Company – this option often can offer best value for your money, flexibility and personalized service. On the other hand, choosing the wrong vendor can completely fail any initiative and waste time, money and resources.
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