IT is from Mars; Business is from Venus

Relations between IT and business can be frustrating for both sides. Some observers call this mutual animosity "lack of alignment.

Relations between IT and business can be frustrating for both sides. Some observers call this mutual animosity "lack of alignment."

Ed Yourdon, esteemed grand explainer of IT failures, summarized the issue in an interview with this blog:

The question is: whether IT is building the kinds of systems the business needs, or whether they anticipate, and can work strategically, to help the business make the best possible use of IT. That problem has been around for 30 or 40 years.

Fellow Enterprise Irregular, Sig Rinde, explained the gap between IT and business with photos.

Here's the IT view of a system: exquisitely detailed, carefully designed, and precisely machined to withstand the rigors of daily use. The "Mars" view, by its nature, is complex:

IT view of a system

In contrast, the business, or "Venus," view emphasizes ease of use, suitability to task, and simplicity in both design and function:

End-user view

There are legitimate and substantive differences between IT and business, reflected in different roles, education, career paths, corporate organizational structures, and so on. Given this, the Mars / Venus communications gap between IT and business is here to stay.

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