Overcome the Fear – Transform Your IT Organization

by Alan Guibord, TAC Founder

The biggest challenge today’s IT leaders face is having the courage to transform. The organizational structure of most IT departments has not changed in the more than 35 years I have been in IT. It is now time for a new model, and bold action is required. The organizational and financial structures both need to be transformed. We need to think variability and business value creation. In addition we need to build in variability for changing demand. Economic cycles are getting shorter and shorter, and we need to create an organizational structure to adequately support changing demand.

Overcoming the fear of transforming your organization is the critical first step, and this fear can be overcome if you understand both why and how to transform. The “why” is easy: short economic cycles, pressure to over deliver with fewer resources, becoming a revenue producer instead of a cost center, and the list goes on and on.

The “how” is a more involved process, but in a nutshell, start by understanding the core skills you really need to support the identified demand, and outsource the rest. This gives you the ability to flex resources based on demand while keeping core expertise in house. I like to use four roles:

  • Business Relationship Manager
  • Business Analyst
  • Project Manager
  • Specific core skilled individuals

Be honest with yourself about what skill sets you actually need to keep on-staff full time. This is the most critical decision you will make. As I stated before, use your known demand as the template.

Just look at your finance and legal organizations. They figured this out years ago. They use outside counsel and other resources to fill the gaps in knowledge and demand that comes their way. IT can, and should use the same model.