On IT Resistance To Change
October 5, 2010
I met a consultant a few days ago that provides SME organizations with implementation assistance in the CRM (customer Relationship Management) space.
In his career, he saw the writing on the wall and had migrated his skills from dealing solely with on premises software (where you shell out money for servers, software licenses and then try to glue it all together in your office) to tools supplied as a SaaS, or hosted model.
In our talk he made a comment that I found all too indicative of many IT organizations in the small to medium enterprise. I can’t remember the exact words, so I am paraphrasing a bit here;
.. in larger SME businesses, the most resistance to the SaaS model is their IT departments, it is as if the IT folks need to be able to hug a server..
That is – unfortunately sad….
Because when any part of your business starts thinking in silos, it leads a business to operate in silos too. That goes for your IT Leadership as well.
In the Small to Medium Enterprise, your IT Leadership must be thinking beyond hugging servers. Beyond the silo of what they prefer, or what they like.
As Philip Papadopoulos of the Papadopoulos Group mentioned to me on twitter;
IT should always be pro-active, approach the business with ways to solve their problems meet their goals
Strategy, Goals & IT
If your IT Leadership feel that unless they are hugging a server they are really not doing their job, then there is some internal IT change that needs to be taking place.
Your business technology must support your organizational strategies and your business goals. And that can include the tactical decisions you make to support those goals.
Mark McDonald at Gartner writes; (emphasis mine)
The strategist has a point in that new technologies and service models are changing the foundation and underpinnings for IT. The move from IT functions, to solutions and now to services reflects a major change in the way IT works that will require CIOs and leaders to prepare.
The SMB Takeaway
In some cases ‘hugging a server’ may be the recommended solution for a business requirement. But for your technology team to refuse to look at the way technology is changing, and to refuse to look at the ways that this changing technology will impact costs or growth, then they are not doing their job.
Simply but, there is no right answer for every business or situation. But you won’t ever get a right answer in your business technology if you aren’t even asking the questions.