Feature

Get IT out of the IT department

“For both competitive and technological reasons, funneling everything through the IT department no longer makes sense,” said Susan Cramm in The Wall Street Journal.

Susan Cramm
The Wall Street Journal

Companies should no longer leave information technology to their IT departments, said Susan Cramm. “For both competitive and technological reasons, funneling everything through the IT department no longer makes sense.” Sure, it once did. Centralized departments were needed to tame the chaos of uncoordinated software and balky hardware, and to yoke all employees’ desktops into tightly controlled networks running enterprise-level software. But now “the costs of enterprise IT are starting to outweigh the benefits.”

It’s time to let individual departments “identify technological opportunities they’d like to pursue,” and tap the IT department only when they need technical expertise. Encourage divisions to dream up new prototypes, then let IT develop “industrial-strength” versions of them. And give business-unit leaders responsibility for IT budgets, instead of letting the IT department tell them how much to spend and what to spend it on. “I recognize that such a shift isn’t easy.” No department wants to have power taken away from it. But your business’s future depends on it.

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