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IT Sucks But We Are Not Sure Why

        posted by , July 02, 2011

It happens to every Enterprise Architecture practice — as EA matures the team needs to become more engaged with business. Recently, I have been involved in several first contact sessions when EA teams make their forays into business engagement.

I always come away from these meetings with the same impression — business executives think IT sucks. They are not sure why — but whatever the company, whatever the industry — the feeling is the same.

IT sucks but we are not sure why ...

It is always the same refrain. It comes from business CxOs, directors, managers and working level staff. They don't always say the word sucks — it comes out in many ways:

- why does it take so long for IT to develop new features?
- why does so much of our hard earned revenue get spent on IT?
- why is data so unreliable?
- why can't I use my favorite mobile device at work?
- why is the software on my laptop so old?
- why are IT systems so slow?
- why can't we just use the software I used at my previous company?
- why do I need to use five systems to do my job?
- why are IT projects so expensive?
- why do IT projects so often fail?
- why don't they just automate everything?

When you ask IT ...

When you ask people in IT — they tend to agree that IT sucks. However, IT people have an idea why:

- business executives waste IT budget on whimsical requests
- business don't provide diligent requirements
- business have unrealistic expectations from IT
- business does not have a stable strategy
- business pushes for aggressive time-to-market (so corners need to be cut)
- business executives make decisions about IT without understanding the impact
- business executives often push IT to adopt software they happened to use at their last job
- business does not understand IT

Is it really this bad?

I am probably exaggerating — but most Enterprise Architects would agree that a massive gap exists between business and IT perceptions.

Nothing short of complete organizational integration of business and IT departments is likely to solve the business-IT disconnect.

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