CIO Development

Article Being the business

In many large organisations IT planning and delivery timescales have become longer than the remainder of the business can live with. This has created tensions that entire generations of tools and methods have failed to solve, and yet we continue to feel that 15% more efficiency here 15% more productivity there could solve the problem. The target was so far out of reach that we gave up; until the advent of eBusiness finally forced us. There was simply no way that traditional IT methods could respond in Internet time so organisations, both large and small, had had to throw away their IT development rule books and start again in a new place – the e-IT function was born.

The “New IT” boom brought with it many excesses that were rightly ditched after the new economy bombed. but it would be a terrible shame to forget all the lessons of new IT because their enduring value was always going to be realised only when the best of these new practices became mainstream. Here are some of the thinking breakthroughs we saw at the time, compared with their more traditional IT equivalents:

In e-commerce stakeholders are online and the systems represent the company.
Application development is actually product development.
IT is no longer a service supplier to the business – it is the business.
Speed is a condition of doing e-business – time is the driver.
IT management and operational styles have become entrepreneurial – ‘safe’ is no longer safe.
Essential technology has moved much closer to the edge – technological R&D is becoming an imperative.
IT is no longer on the critical path – it has become the critical path.
Formal methodology takes too long – time is the new currency.
Work can be fun again – the social side and work have merged.

Do you find these claims a tad embarrassing in retrospect? Most of us who lived through the craziness will long cringe at the way the world shaped up to changed, and then didn’t. But let’s not lose all the spirit of transformation and the thinking breakthroughs that drove Internet time. An effective dose of that could still prove an effective medicine in today’s increasingly competitive global economy.

Contact Brinley Platts on 07973 745 640 at CIODEVELOPMENT.COM to find out how you can engage your colleagues and team on the issues raised by this article.

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