I.T. Decisions – Who Makes Them In Your Organization?

Owen Greaves is that rare IT consultant who bridges that chasm between IT and marketing. As a regular guest blogger for Tek-Tips, Owen will be sharing his insights with us about IT management, technology consulting and the impact of social media on the IT professional. Please help us in welcoming Owen to the Tek-Tips community. This post first appeared on Owen’s site: owengreaves.com.

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How are I.T. Decisions made in your business or organization? Who makes those decisions? One of the challenges with non-technical upper management decision makers getting involved is, it’s usually about them wanting a particular toy or functionality.

I.T. decisions are based on one or a select group of people because they are the bosses and get what they want or it’s in the name of getting something done. I have found that making technology decisions in that fashion usually cripples your ability to shift gears down the road, you end up implementing the wrong solution and you spend two to three times the dollars fixing the problem later. What you do today matters, do all you can to prevent it and do the painful work of finding a more rational solution if you can. Oh ya, whenever possible avoid database conversions as it will add to the scope of the project(s).

On Your Journey…

On your journey to make things easier for you, collect and database all business processes in your organization and weight them for measurement, then consult all subject matter experts in the organization to ensure by-in before you go off finding a solution. Remember, it’s not who wants it or what kind of technology that’s the issue, what’s paramount is knowing what your organization needs. Which means you have a good understanding of the company you work for and it’s systems.

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Another thing to consider, what is the perceived value your business or organization has on Information Technology and the Systems it uses to organize data. If your new prospect or management team doesn’t understand the value of technology, you now have an educational task on your hands.

Another challenge business owners have is discerning who they should trust, there are so many EXPERTS out there confusing and complicating the problem. There are key questions that can be asked to qualify the said consultant to assist you and your organization with technology strategies but that’s another article.

Don’t Handcuff Yourself

The point is, organizations handcuff themselves by allowing only non-technology people to make long term technology decisions. That’s not all bad but it’s not wise to have 100% of all I.T. decisions made by them in isolation. In most cases they will invest in something and then hand it off to the I.T. department with a note attached, ”Make this work with our systems”. They know what they want the system to do and or what they want to have happen. They don’t understand how existing systems work and what they will or won’t work with, at the core, non-technology people are unable to see and know where technology is going, what may solve problems in 3-5 years…don’t worry most of us don’t, but, technology people know how and where to find out. They understand the order in which you should proceed, they understand what you have and what you should look for in solutions.

If you have questions feel free to contact me at: owen@owengreaves.com

Owen Greaves

About Owen Greaves

With over 15 years in management and technology consulting, Owen is an I.T. Professional who has a passion for technology and how it impacts business and our society. He has been involved in the Technology field since the 80’s when he was responsible for supporting an automation system for a radio station. After 15 years of Radio & Television in various roles including sales, announcing and finally managing his own radio station; he left to pursue his passion of technology and embarked upon technology consulting. He has an extensive technology background in key verticals such as Manufacturing, Transportation, Music Industry and retail. In more recent years he served as the COO of Shorebridge Technology Group, Director of Information Technology for Campus Crusade where he was responsible for team selection, hiring and business planning along with developing cost effective I.T. budgets. Prior to that his consulting firm provided services such as designing and implementing I.T. Strategic Plans and Business Process Management. With a strong background in Operations and Infrastructure he specializes in building teams and systems that support organizational needs. Owen is currently researching and writing a series on – Nanotechnology. He also provides Social Media Consulting, I.T. Strategic Planning and Public Speaking.

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2 Responses to I.T. Decisions – Who Makes Them In Your Organization?

  1. Hawk
    Hawk July 16, 2009 at 6:40 pm #

    I have to say after years of trying to understand the mindsets of many an IT manager, and way too many business managers, the jury is still out. I do believe, and that is the reason I started this site, that the nexus of IT and business is closer than ever, however, the meeting of the minds is still at bay. Business managers think they understand the interface, and IT thinks they always know what is best, but the two are no closer now than they have ever been. Furthermore, there is no killer app or MBA to sort out what is needed to succeed in today’s global markets. My belief is that this is fundamentally the biggest challenge facing business and there is no facility in the wings to determine the outcome. IT is simply not willing to don the different hats necessary, and business managers simply don’t have a clue about projecting what the architecture should look like.

  2. Owen Greaves
    Owen Greaves July 16, 2009 at 7:35 pm #

    Right, the GAP has always been large and frankly I.T. had to fight to be viewed as a utility like lights & heat to get some kind of priority. There has always been a thought process of, having the knowledge meant you were in control and you knew what was best so sit down and shutup. That just doesn’t fly anymore, we the people are in charge now and we know what we want so the table is changing shape. I think we as who believe, as you said in your last sentence,”IT is simply not willing to wear the different hats necessary, and business managers simply don’t have a clue about projecting what the architecture should look like.” This is an opportunity, but the foot has to be in the door first before new thinking can take hold of old minds:)

    Owen

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