Sunday, May 29, 2011

on IT systems vs. people (or, too much to tweet, volume one)

I've got a thought which I can't adequately express in 140 characters, in response to a couple of tweets I just read:

@thomkearney: IMO we should spend less on IT systems per se and more on making sure those systems actually contribute to org objectives

@scilib: @thomkearney we need to stop thinking IT systems can solve problems. People solve problems. $ on systems without $ on people = #fail

I look at it this way. You never want to build a solution that doesn't solve a problem, or that solves the wrong problem. Your IM/IT unit is there to serve your business, and business problems require business solutions. Any business solution has to start with a requirements analysis that depends on the subject matter experts (SMEs) in the problem area. Developing business solutions is new ground for a lot of SMEs and other business partners, ground that we have walked many times before. We are (or we should be) there to help you solve the problem effectively and efficiently, using our knowledge of IM/IT capacity, policy and regulatory considerations (particularly with respect to IM), lessons learned from past projects, and our often-overlooked knowledge of the whole business.

We shouldn't be driving "IT projects", we should be advising on and contributing to "business projects" where IM/IT is just one part of the puzzle.

You mean that's not the way everyone does it? :)