Friday, March 30, 2007

IT has more business knowledge than Business

If the title interests you, then read on...

Recently I read an interesting thought on Enterprise Architecture.

Traditionally, the business 'ideates', and 'decides' what kind of projects they want to do. IT 'takes the orders' and builds them for business. But eventually, over a period of time, IT gets involved in understanding the business requirements, the kind of changes that are happening in the systems, and becomes masters in those business processes.

The business process knowledge is 'tacit' in the IT folks who are maintaining in those systems. The business sponsors who funded the IT projects might have moved on. But the business process knowledge in those IT systems stays within the IT group.

Now, the question is, How can IT take advantage of this competency?. Its a critical and important question, for a IT organization to "grow" and not just to "deliver".

With this capability, IT has the potential to "propose" new projects based on the technology competency and business knowledge. It can jointly work with business to carve out new projects. The key here is both sides have to respect each others' ideas. That would ensure the collective success.

Now the question is, IT has been traditionally a development shop. This tacit business knowledge might have been there in documents/individuals. But, how to identity and tap those potential?. It requires a "new" skill. And that, is exactly, Enterprise Architecture is all about.

The EA office would ensure business-IT alignment, collaborative planning, standards, new markets, efficiency and Growth (to business and IT).

Using EA, if IT can propose new projects that are successful and demand a certain share in the new revenue that is acquired out of new projects, IT really becomes a 'profit center', not a 'cost center'.

Otherwise, if IT has to remain as a 'order takers', then its better to 'outsource' the entire IT to India. Because, you will get lot more good deals with better quality there.

No comments: