Feeds

Unlocking IT-IT relationships

How intra-IT relations drive departmental success

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been considering a topic which is close to our hearts, but which is not often discussed (not online, anyway) – that of the relationship between IT professionals in development and operations roles.

It’s a tricky one to research, not only because of the self-selecting nature of web-based surveys and polls (only those who have an interest will respond), but also because it is clearly an emotive topic, which may attract its fair share of cynics. Once bitten, twice as likely to respond to a survey, as it were.

All the same, we have been able to glean some interesting gen from the poll we put up earlier this week - not least because we included an innocuous question about how IT is viewed by business users, which we then used to cut the results. On the upside, responses to this question were liberally spread across the segments of ‘An important contributor of business value’ (40 per cent), ‘A positive enabler of operational efficiency’ (25 per cent), ‘A necessary but burdensome cost’ (25 per cent) and ‘A complete waste of money’ (five per cent). The sparsity of latter responses is a fair indication that we didn’t attract too many cynics to the party.

When we cut the question ‘What kind of relationship would you like with other roles within the IT department?’ against this question of how IT is viewed, we came up with the following figure. What’s interesting first is that there is little difference between what the different groups of respondents would like, in an ideal world. About a quarter would like to work very closely with their colleagues elsewhere in IT, and two-thirds would be happy with an ad-hoc relationship.

When we look at what people actually have in place, however, we see a different picture. Obviously it is unsurprising that reality falls short of aspirations. More interesting however, is how the results vary according to respondent profile.

Most significant perhaps, is how the actual experiences of respondents whose IT is perceived as a contributor of business value, compare to their ideals. Nearly 20 per cent claim a very close relationship with other bits of IT, and over 50 per cent further claim an ad-hoc relationship. Hurrah.

But hurroo for the combined sub-group which considers IT either as a necessary cost, or a waste of money. In this group, only six per cent noted a very close relationship with their counterparts, and 45 per cent an ad-hoc relationship.

What’s equally interesting is what makes up the remaining proportion. Curiously, in the first (‘business value’) group, 14 per cent claim a formal interface with other areas of IT, a figure which rises to 29 per cent in the ‘cost’ group. Could it be – and we seek your input here – that such interfaces are used as barriers to communication in less effective IT departments? We can only speculate on this point.

What we do know is whether such things make a positive contribution to the effectiveness of the IT department. The figure below gives a pretty clear picture – that relationships between different parts of the IT department are most effective in organizations that see their IT as a positive contributor of business value. Hmm, which needs to come first? We would suggest that better collaboration drives better service, rather than vice versa.

The conclusion, then, is pretty simple. IT departments, if you want to raise your status vis-à-vis the business, there are some concrete things you can do to get your own house in order, not least around improving communications internally. Do take a close look at your internal processes, in particular any formal interfaces between different parts of IT – and if in doubt, do consider taking them out. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.