Monday, April 28, 2014

Is Management and Control of Technology Shifting Away from IT

IT needs to strike the right balance between being an enabler and a controller

Some say that CIOs are losing ground due to the proliferation of Shadow IT, Consumerization of enterprise technology, Omnipresence of social platforms., etc. Is it true that the management and control of technology are shifting away from IT, and what is the effective way to run IT and business as a whole at the era of Cloud?

 IT needs to assume the role of technical advisor and the broker of Cloud. The CIOs should take the risk of the cloud, the adoption of new cloud providers and the risks associated with it is accepted by the risk & audit committee. And the cloud offers a real opportunity for IT to assume the role of technical advisor and give recommendations on the types of cloud services that best suit specific business needs. This also gives IT an opportunity to preselect cloud services that meet corporate GRC requirements. It's a win-win for everybody! In addition, many large enterprises have a great deal of complexity that only internal IT has capability and capacity to manage it with tailored solutions. 

IT is best fit for being a data steward. So whether the information is stored or managed in the cloud, on a server, or on someone's desktop, the crux of what is most valuable, is the data. IT is the only function which has both expertise and resources to get control of the data and manage data life cycle cohesively; data is one of the most critical corporate resources and needs to be managed efficiently, some of the assumed controls are about what it looks like, where it resides, and who manages it to ensure that the data is relevant, current, secure, and accessible.

IT as governance champion: The control and management of technology should and can still be with I.T, not just for “control’’s sake, but for keeping business in order. There is a shift possibly in the management disciplines that IT leadership will need to manage these distributed, decentralized and discontinuous services that are becoming a new norm for worker productivity. Therefore, there needs to be proper communication and interaction between business and IT to ensure that proper technology is deployed where required, and IT has to put policies and governance in place, but communicate more profundly to keep business in order and run business with both effectiveness and agility. 

IT needs to strike the right balance of being an enabler and a controller. IT leaders are caught between "how do we adopt and leverage" and "how do we control". Traditional network boundaries are disappearing or at best becoming very murky. Cloud services are rising up to challenge. Business goes around IT for new technology. This is always a sign that something is not going right. The worst thing to do is just put the policy in place to mandate it comes through IT since business will perceive IT as not a real business partner. This type of situation always needs to take a fine balance between compliance and 'skunk works". 

In summary: IT may lose part of control, but it’s not always a bad thing, IT can take more resource to do innovation, not just an over-controlling support function to keep the light on; and the most important thing is upon how to build trust relationship with business, practice governance with agility; and running IT more as business, to focus on the fundamental business principles in digital era: Order over control; people over process and business as a whole over functional silo, to play decent role as technical adviser, data steward, customer advocate, governance champion, and even more.



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