why IT opened up

April 18, 2008 at 8:33 pm | Posted in Business, Technology Trends | 1 Comment

In the last five years, there has been a major push for IT organizations to think and act more like a business. For the longest time, IT was a black box full of wizards and warlocks and fairy dust. You just put a bunch of money in, and – poof! – out would come information on your computer. Over time, and for several reasons, the box began to open so that the business world could see what was inside. Three of those reasons stand out to me.

First, the cryptic, magical, mystical world of computers became commonplace in the home and it was that same general technology that was residing in the data center. So the business guy who set up his home network and bought a couple of external USB drives could start to really conceptualize the Windows servers in the data center accessing a SAN. I didn’t say they fully understood it, but at least reasonable conversations could ensue with a lot of analogies to the home setup. Being able to have that conversation was big. Businesses started asking a lot more questions and for the first time ever, the questions actually made some sense.

Second, the business simply required it due to diversification. When a business is running with a single purpose, there is an unbroken chain from the technology world to the business world. When the business has two or three objectives, it gets a little more complicated, but still very much under control. But what happens with 20 different lines of business under the same umbrella? Each of those businesses, in some form or fashion, is given responsibility for its profitability and it wants to know where all that money is going. That means pulling back the curtain and figuring out to allocate costs.

Third, mergers and acquisitions required it. How do you know what you can achieve in terms of economies of scale until you understand how the IT investment aligns with the various business needs?

So, like a reluctant oyster, IT opened up, and just as business is about to grab the pearl, the shell is starting to close again.

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  1. […] April 21, 2008 at 6:42 pm | In Business, Technology Trends | Earlier, we took a look at the opening of IT. Now let’s consider why it might be closing once again. One thought as to why IT opened in the […]

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