Posted by: Jack Santos
Massachusetts to Dallas to Helsinki and back, with stops in between.
Part of what I was doing when meeting with clients was going over 2010 IT trends and macro trends. Usually those trends lead to in depth discussions, and – Guess what??? Most enterprise challenges are not fundamentally technical – they are organizational – people, process, culture, structure.
Which made this recent TED video that Richard Watson (in our Application platform strategy group) passed along so relevant. It is really worth a watch.
In my meetings I discussed similar topics – and how to engage the business. During a more light-hearted moment in one meeting, this particular CIO shared with me a story from a few years ago that captured the state of the IT department in many companies, and how key the business felt IT was back then:
A CIO planned a celebration for his team, and chartered a small cruise ship for two hundred. Alerted to the fact that company policy, due to the risk, frowned on that many of the senior staff of one department on the same transport (ships, planes, automobiles), he decided to check with the right folks to see if he could bend the rules. The phone call went something like this:
CIO: …so you see I thought that on this one occasion we might be able to make an exception.
HR: Sorry. That’s been policy for a long time, and departments have had to work around it. We just felt the risk was too major a factor for our key departments and functions. No exceptions.
CIO (with persistence) Isn’t there anything we can do to work around this? Have you discussed it with your VP?
HR: (flustered) Well I can certainly try to bring it up with him, if you insist. What department is this again?
HR: Ohhhh, IT. Hold on <a few moments passes> Hello? On second thought, we think it would be fine. No problem. Have a nice trip!