Enterprise Initiatives

This blog focuses on Enterprise IT topics such as Enterprise Architecture, Portfolio Management, Change Management, Business Process Management, and recaps various technology events and news.

There are several good articles about running IT like a business (here and here). I would like to ask the question, "Are you running IT like it's your business?" What are some of the barriers for preventing IT leaders from being able to transform their IT shop into a well oiled, cost effective machine?

  • Resistance to change
  • Lack of resources (time, money, and human capital)
  • Lack of tools
  • Lack of metrics
  • Lack of process
If you owned your own business would you let those obstacles get in the way of making your business more profitable? I didn't think so. So why should your shareholders tolerate it? In today's world of IT, there is a lot of pressure on CIOs to cut costs, pursue outsourcing, improve delivery, and enable the business to grow. If your shop is spending most of its efforts "keeping the lights on" are you really just managing a cost center?

Let's discuss the five barriers to success that I listed above. First is resistance to change. According to Prosci, the experts on change management, the top reasons for resistance to change are:
  • Lack of understanding around the vision and need for change.
  • Comfort with the status quo and fear of the unknown.
  • Corporate history and culture.
  • Opposition to the new technologies, requirements and processes introduced by the change.
  • Fear of job loss.
In order to overcome these obstacles you must manage both the human and business aspects of change. To manage the human side of change you must define WIIFM (what's in it for me) for people at all levels. That equates to having distinct communication plans for Sr. management, mid level management, and non management personnel. You also must constantly reinforce and adjust your communication plan throughout the duration of your change initiative. It only takes one respected person to doubt the initiative and the whole house of cards can come tumbling down.

So define a clear vision, get executive level buy-in, communicate early and often, manage resistance, and measure your progress. I also recommend that you find a partner to help you foster change. Why learn everything the hard way? Accelerate the learning curve and secure a change management partner to guide you to a successful implementation of change.

In part 2, I will discuss the next barrier to success, Lack of Resources.

Stay tuned.


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