Get rid of the IT department!

There was an article in the Wall Street Journal last week titled “It’s Time to Get Rid of the IT Department“ by Joe Peppard, a research scientist at MIT Sloan School of Management.

Based on the hundreds of comments, he really hit a nerve. The comments really prove his point that "There are a lot of vested interests in maintaining the status quo."

What Peppard is saying (correctly), is that segregating the IT department from the business makes it impossible to realize the agility, speed, and flexibility that today’s marketplace demands. His answer is to embed tech people in departments across the organization.

While I agree that IT needs to be decentralized, for the most part, I think he focuses on the wrong thing (the IT department). The important point is what the COO of an energy company calls “freedom within a framework”. The goal is for IT to establish a framework (like Work-Relay) and allow departments and users to use whatever tools they like to produce their deliverables, as long as those deliverables are consumable by other areas of the organization through a common framework.

Departments are going to build solutions on their own, (using e.g. no/low code tools) regardless of what IT does. So it’s better to accept that reality and provide them with a framework that connects everyone together while shielding them from the underlying technologies and systems being used.

This decentralization of solution building is what is needed to effectively facilitate citizen developers, introduce hyperautomation locally, and crowdsource the building of business processes.

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