The trouble with IT has very little to do with information technology and everything to do with the process chaos that's rampant in business.
According to Doug Mow, senior vice president of marketing for Virtusa, an IT services and business process consulting firm, anywhere from 30 to 70 percent of IT applications and the infrastructure on which they run are a waste of money. It's not uncommon for businesses to have, for example, multiple order-entry systems connected to a maze of redundant back-office systems. Because no one is in charge of processes within the business, each department becomes a master of its own applications regardless of those running in other departments.
Mow, of course, is making a case for application rationalization. But he says most businesses will never accomplish that goal until someone becomes the chief process officer within the organization. In some instances, that may be the chief operating officer or even the CIO. But for the most part, Mow says most businesses will never be agile until someone takes on that task.
In the meantime, IT takes a lot of heat for the cost to support all these redundant applications and systems. The heat comes as arbitrarily reduced budgets -- "you can eat what you can kill" planning rather than a real business plan -- or threats to outsource IT operations, proprosals that could actually cost more.
In reality, IT is little more than a reflection of the business it supports. If the IT department is a mess, it's likely because the business it is trying to support is an even bigger mess.