Every problem is an IT problem, right?


The need to become more efficient, to adopt new processes, to work in new ways and within new structures brings plenty of opportunity – and also challenge. Wherever these opportunities and challenges emerge from, there is invariably a dependence upon Information Technology in facilitating a solution. Once this dependence on technology has been identified, it’s easy for each and every other part of a possible solution to become utterly dependent upon technology to deliver the whole solution, and often before other change takes place.

I don’t believe this should be the case. I believe everyone in an organisation today must be able to identify and implement solutions using IT; everyone should be able to contribute. They don’t need to be big and complex solutions – quite the opposite really. Small, simple solutions that can be owned by the staff who need them are often much more effective than those which require the support or contribution of highly specialist colleagues.

But the thing is, in my experience at least, most medium to large organisations have yet to realise that we have probably all been a little too singularly dependent on the IT department to solve everything for us. Technology has evolved beyond this; smart systems enable us to create solutions without the need to employ such experts. If we are struggling to deliver quick and flexible solutions, maybe our systems are outdated? It’s the smaller, more agile organisations that are able to capitalise on flexible solutions – cloud services and SAAS – that are leading the way, adopting new systems quickly to meet changing demands. Maybe in our larger organisations, staff are not sufficiently skilled in the tools they may already be using to achieve the best results. Ensuring the latest and highest performing systems are available is what the IT department needs to focus upon. Ensuring that staff are capable and empowered to identify and delver solutions is essential… but that’s not just an IT problem…

1 Response

  1. Paul Shonk September 30, 2012 / 20:41

    That’s all well and good saying that Chris, but there are one or two drawbacks to your statement. Firstly the organisation must be prepared to spend the money in order to train their members to use these new flexible systems you speak of, they must also be prepared to pay for the greatly increased bandwidth that the cloud and SaaS services would demand, a problem that I know you are familiar with.

    Secondly, in order to give the staff this empowerment and flexibility, you also need to give them the tools, by which I mean they must be given the necessary permissions on the system to enable this. Having been an IT practitioner since the early 1980’s I am only too aware of the defensive nature network managers have over allowing users access to systems. Even now, with all my experience and knowledge, and in the position of being an IT/Computing Lecturer, I cannot download, install and use software on a trial basis before deciding whether to use it for my students. Bearing that in mind, what chance is there of lesser qualified members of staff being given these options.

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