Ever hear users rave about their company's great IT department? Me neither. Most often, users complain because they feel IT is slow and unresponsive. In reality, IT faces a variety of pressures and resource constraints that make slow response almost inevitable. This self-inflicted corporate damage conspires against IT, making it the bane of many users' existence.
Computerworld chronicles 5 reasons why IT is just so darn slow:
- A focus on big projects. In every case, the whole structure of the IT organization — from project offices to approval processes — is geared for large projects that last a year or longer.
- Hostility toward new ways of doing things. These IT organizations won't invest in and experiment with new tools, approaches and methods until there is a project "worthy" of them
- Silence rather than dialogue on IT investments. When business people are left in the dark about IT's existing portfolio,...the business can't judge whether to extend what it owns a little longer or to start again for the next decade. More often than not, the business defers to IT — and IT defers to what it already knows.
- The business side's commitment level. Not all the problems are in IT. [Often] the business does not make IT tech projects a priority. At project's end, the business won't participate in testing or invest in deployment support....Successful IT projects are a partnership, but too often the business side fails to do its part.
- Corporate style. Corporate behavior influences what you can do....IT can push against the limits, but it's hard to go any great distance past them.
As with most such lists, technology doesn't make an appearance. Sure, technology underpins it all, but most IT departments handle the tech stuff pretty well. It's the human, planning, and organizational dimensions that cause everyone the most pain.
Also see: “10 secrets of bad CIOs”
It's no coincidence that most IT failures are caused by non-technical problems. Successfully handle the non-technical roadblocks in your IT organization and you'll soon discover that users love you.