The Socialization of IT – Part II

In Part I of this series (it was not a series before, but now that there is a Part II…) I started to dissect a research paper, highlighted by Irving Wladawsky-Berger, where he tackles the topic of “IT in the age of the Cloud”. Mr. Wladawsky-Berger references a study on The Future of Corporate IT by The Corporate Executive Board. I will continue to use the following definition of Socialization: ‘the means by which social and cultural continuity are attained’ – which is grabbed from wikipedia.

IT are not the only ones changing, we are too

As many have written about during the past couple of years, there are many reasons for the increased use of Cloud and/or SaaS based services. Topics such as the economy: “do more with less” or “My IT department just says ‘No’ so I stopped asking and just did it’, as well as many many other points of fodder give the bloggers plenty to discuss.  What ever the core reason, or the core set of reasons, everyone is more tech savvy than they were just a few years ago.

Greater Business Partner Responsibility

A generation of business leaders and end users is emerging with greater technology knowledge and confidence. They see advanced, user- friendly technology as an everyday occurrence, and can recite stories of companies gaining industry leadership through technology. At the same time that business leaders’ expectations, and their ability to articulate those expectations, are quickly rising, the cloud gives them access to unprecedented technology scale and expertise. The fact that cloud services cannot be extensively customized levels the playing field; business units cannot customize cloud applications but neither can the IT function.

I did not include the entire quote, as I believe it is a bit confusing and I still am not clear what the purpose  of the following is, maybe you do “…a greater role for business partners in areas where the value of differentiation outweighs the need integration.” In my mind, this goes against a point of yesterday’s topic (from the same research report) which is that information plus process is differentiation, but I am wandering, apologies. But, it does not make sense to me.

Of course I need to go after the part of this which states that ‘cloud services cannot be customized’. I am not going after it just because I am writing this on a SugarCRM sponsored blog either. No matter what you think, if people could not get what they need to get done, done then neither Cloud nor SaaS would be as big and important as we all know they are today.

It needs to go beyond Business Partners, as described

All companies need to consider technological, and information architectural concepts beyond just departments. While this sounds like a quote from Captain Obvious, maybe it is not as clear as I would like to think. Many others, smarter than I, talk about concepts like co-creation, value creation, buyer creation, community, just to name a few. None of these, whether in concept or practice (for the forward thinking organizations among us) can possibly operate in a silo. Walled gardens do not help anyone – yes, security of both data and information needs to be addressed.

Who are you working with? Are you a department focused, company focused, organization, partner…what? Please share, we would like to hear your story. If you are not comfortable post on a blog, send me a note (mitch.lieberman at gmail). More importantly, what role should IT play in your world? While we are all more tech savvy, do we all really understand the technical parts of running a business? I know a lot of really social IT folks, they get it and are simply waiting to help!