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Finding the Silver Lining in IT

After recently reading a compelling article posted by Jack Rosenberger at CIO Insight, it occurred to me that there hasn’t been a material change within Information Technology Departments over the course of the last several years. Certainly the technology and skill sets have evolved, but not the core tenets of how IT operates and the challenges they continue to wrestle with on a regular basis.

The article refers to Michelle Baily’s (of the 451 research firm) interesting observation, that while the economy is improving IT spending hasn’t matched the growth. Additionally, the return to IT spending of days gone by hasn’t yet materialized which has cannibalized to a certain extent, innovation. She further implies, and we agree, that many of the major projects today are based on cost cutting and consolidation of IT, or often politely referred to as optimization of the business.

She correctly points out that IT usually measures itself on costs which inevitably lead to IT being viewed as a cost center. We at Innotas have repeatedly pointed out to our prospects and customer base that our mission is to drive IT from being viewed strictly as a cost center and evolving into a “value center” many times in the past.

There have been many articles written about the value of applying the same rigor to maintenance activities as applied to strategic projects, and while we think that’s a good start, and we support that paradigm with our application portfolio tool, we are of the belief that innovation happens when there is a shift from optimization or cost controls, to value creation with strategic projects that impact the business and move it forward. It takes a strong CIO and team to make that argument. We don’t always see that and agree that the time is now while money is cheap and the economy recovers.

All too often we hear that IT staff is swamped and cannot spend the time deploying a system which helps them prioritize, rationalize, catalogue score and deliver work on time and on budget. This remains one of the great mysteries today. So much has been written about why IT projects fail because of a lack of shared goals, vision, objectives, executive support and quantifying business value that it makes one’s head spin. These are not new concepts and have been around for a very long time.

So the question is why not begin again? If you want to fill your bottle up with lightning you have to stand in the rain. Time to step up. We will be waiting.

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