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10 old-school IT principles that still rule

Bob Lewis | July 26, 2017
Technology changes rapidly, but beneath the buzzwords, the fundamentals of sound IT strategy remain. Here are 10 graybeard IT tenets that still reign — when applied in their modernised guise.

 

IT exists to support the business

Version so old it’s a cliché: No technology for technology’s sake

New version: Provide technology leadership

Technology for the sake of technology is a bad thing. That doesn’t mean IT should limit its role to processing work orders. It has to go way beyond this and provide technology leadership.

Any IT department that fails to provide technology leadership -- to suggest and discuss, not just to accept and deliver -- is failing at a fundamental level.

Technology leadership also means supporting managers and users who are ready to buy or build their own technology. It’s time to recognize that “shadow IT” is a good thing, because it increases IT bandwidth.

Sure, there are risks. Anything worth doing has risks.

IT must help everyone in the business succeed with all of their technology, not choke off anything that’s “not invented here.”

 

It’s about business change, or else what’s the point?

Old version: IT is the major driver of change throughout the business

Middle-age version: IT is the biggest barrier to change in the business

New version: IT is the major driver of change throughout the business

When computers were new and shiny, business executives counted on them to drive change everywhere by making business processes quicker and cheaper while cutting way down on manual errors.

That lasted until IT had to support so many interconnected systems that doing anything new was time-consuming, expensive, and risky. Its reliance on waterfall methodologies didn’t help either.

We’re finally breaking loose again. Between agile, better integration tools, and non-IT IT, information technology is starting to drive change again instead of following along after it.

 

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