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IT entrenches misalignment
One of the main roles of IT management is to help business navigate the alternative realities of IT. But the way we do this makes IT more complicated and more misaligned.
A lot of our IT management effort is spent on navigating the complexity and misalignment of IT.
These activities help us bridge the gap between business reality and the alternative reality of IT. They are critical to delivering business value.
But by attempting to manage complexity and misalignment, we legitimise complexity and misalignment. Instead of throwing our hands up in horror and saying, "This is all too hard", we accept the situation and say, "We can do that". We set expectations that it is OK to have more of the same. As we increase our capacity to manage complexity and misalignment, we dig ourselves deeper into it.
Our IT management is a rational response to the structural problems we see in IT, and is a genuine attempt to manage the complexities to better serve the needs of business. But inadvertently, by managing complexity and misalignment, we entrench it.
We are on a heretical journey. We have seen that the structures of IT - architecture, organisation, decision making - are largely a by-product of engineering necessity, and that these form an alternative reality that does not align with the realities of business. And our IT management response, rational and valiant though it is, further entrenches this misalignment. We are in a hole, and we are trying to dig ourselves out.
Next week I will start painting a picture of how this misalignment contributes to the major problems we have in IT.Next: The root of all evil
Minimal IT: research, training, consultancy and software to reduce IT costs.