Keeping the IT Fireworks Under Adult Supervision

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

IT Fireworks Fly

Enterprise IT is rife with conflicts that have the potential to set off fireworks on any day of the year.

Although most of us will probably enjoy some sort of fireworks display or another this holiday weekend, there are also plenty of hot-button issues in the land of IT that are capable of generating fireworks of their own.

From a sheer noise level perspective, the debate over H-1B visas for foreign workers generates the most volume. But from a strategic perspective, you can't help but wonder if there isn't a whole lot more to worry about.

It's clear, for example, that cloud computing isn't just about saving money on hardware anymore. Many IT processes are being automated as part of the shift to the cloud. This has profound implications for the number of people that will actually be needed to manage enterprise IT.

At the same time, end users appear to be increasingly pulling an end run around IT. When you peel back all the layers of "the consumerization of IT," it becomes clear that end users are buying their own devices to access corporate data that has been moved into any number of unsanctioned applications in the cloud.

Not only does this trend create security issues for all of IT, it also casts doubt in the minds of those end users about the strategic relevance of internal IT operations to the business.

There are plenty of other hot-button issues ranging from comparatively tactical things such as the choice of a corporate standard for smartphones or business intelligence applications all the way up through the historic divide between IT and the rest of the business.

It's not likely that any of these issues are going to away soon of their own accord, so the question that IT organizations need to wrestle with is what to do about these trends. Left unaddressed, each one becomes a powder keg of conflict just waiting for someone to set it off.

Most of us enjoy a good fireworks display, but fireworks are dangerous. For good reasons, we don't let children, for example, light off fireworks without some form of adult supervision. So before any major IT issues blow up in your face later this year, now is the time to take the rest of the summer to come up with a strategic plan to address these issues.

Obviously, some of these issues are never going to completely go away. But who knows, with a little effort between now and this fall, you might be able to sit down and enjoy your Thanksgiving Day dinner in relative peace and quiet.

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