IT is part of the Business

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There seems to be a constant tension between ‘the business’ and ‘IT’. This tension may be evident through the business making comments such as ‘we don’t trust IT’ or ‘IT is always doing its own thing’. IT on the other hand might state ‘the business doesn’t know what’s good for it’.

Similar views appear to be consistently aired.

The real problem here is the lack of understanding within a business of what is the actual business. Using terms such as the ‘business’ and ‘IT’ suggests a separation of function that appears to be real whilst is in fact quite artificial.

If we define that the business is all parts of an organisation that supports both directly or indirectly the development and provision and delivery of products and services to its customers we would perceive ‘the business’ in a different light.

With this definition then IT, providing enabling services, is clearly part of the business. Maintaining a view that IT is something separate to the business becomes counter-productive. Business decisions should be made in full collaboration with all affected parties. As some of these decisions will have a technology component to them then appropriate Subject Matter Experts should be involved as they would be where technology is not a factor.

It would be significantly better to regard the business as a single entity, overlaying functional or organisational boundaries and not as separate and segregated components.  The decision making processes would then be more likely to result in outcomes which not only provided greater benefit to the business as a whole but also to engender a more useful atmosphere of co-operation and collaboration.

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