Not picking on Sam, its just the place where I picked up a follow-up to something that the folks at MWD had blogged about around IT/Biz alignment, all three make good points about not having IT enslaved to business cycles and providing innovation to the organisation. The problem is that neither of them admit the reality that most IT departments have not delivered any such benefits to their companies.
The plantative plea of IT not to be "wedded" to these slow business cycles isn't to actually deliver innovation its to be left alone to play with its toys. Richard Veryard spectacularly misses this point and appears to be blind to successive generations of IT, the big EAI waste of money, the ERP customisation that failed spectacularly, the 80% of the money spent on just keeping the lights on with the current systems. His plea to the "layered" and "separated" architecture is in many cases exactly what has caused the current mess.
I'm with Sam in that considering IT as a service organisation is a good idea, it needs to think on its feet and it needs to be responsive to its customer. Like any good service company it also needs competition, otherwise it just becomes a monopoly supplier and that just isn't healthy. But I do disagree that every organisation should be looking at the "value add" and the full cycle. For many IT organisations they should look to deliver what the business actually wants first, then start considering what else they can do.
Before organisations start prattling on about IT strategy and "value add" you have to pass the entrance example. This is simple ... did you deliver what they wanted, when they wanted and in the way they wanted? Is your IT estate in a condition that means it changes in the way the business wants? Are you spending a decent proportion of the IT budget on new things rather than old things? And most importantly does the IT estate actually make sense to the business?
When you can answer those questions correctly then its time to consider IT as an equal partner able to deliver innovation and change. Until then any claim to be kept separate just sounds like my kids asking for ice-cream when they haven't finished dinner.
Pretending that IT isn't broken doesn't help move us forwards, and I'll stick by my statement that there is no such thing as IT strategy.
Technorati Tags: Enterprise IT IT Management IT Excellence IT Governance Business-IT Alignment