With a graduate degree in business, and 20 years of experience in IT, I am often frustrated to see these two organizations at odds with one another. While it is nearly impossible to conduct business, today, without IT…IT does not exist just to make pretty lights blink in the data center. IT exists to serve the business and to ultimately aid the business in achieving their goals. These should be complimentary goals, not contrary ones.
For the IT strategists and engineers that “get” this concept, there are two core technologies that you need to be exploring. The first is automation, and the second is orchestration. Automation will make routing processes more reliable and their outcomes more predictable. Automation is not easy. It can often be much more difficult to automate a task then to simply execute the steps individually, but the outcome is more valuable.
The second concept, orchestration, is where IT and the business meet. With orchestration, you add intelligence to automation, allowing tasks to be triggered by predefined conditions. These can be technological conditions or even business conditions.
To end 2013, I wrote a two part series on these topics for TechTarget. The first article is “Car assembly plants can teach a valuable lesson in IT automation“, dealing with automation and a great experience I had at a GM plant. The second article is “IT orchestration can help bridge gaps to unite divided business units“, building on the previous work on automation.
I hop that you will take a minute to read these articles, and then come back here and leave a comment to let me know what you think.