A strained marriage – is how I characterize the relationship between Business and IT. In my job, I bridge the gap between these two main entities of any organization. I am also the one responsible for identifying the elephant in the room. So in the last few years, I have come to closely observe these two entities in detail and reflect upon them.
Now, I am not well versed with the issues of marriages, but as I have heard the wise speak – it is always about managing expectations. If you can find a common ground, where the two can co-exist in harmony, you have reached a point, from where on it is just daily maintenance. Unfortunately not many companies are successful in achieving this state of coherence and harmony. And honestly, not many even try.
In this relationship, I see Business as the bride. Always wanting more, never satisfied with the present, a little unreasonable in its demands, always acting in urgency, prone to panic, prone to being upset, discontent and often going to the extreme of refusing to vocalize their needs, just because they did not get any attention the last time around.
IT is the groom. Always sure that it is Business’s fault. Always trying to be practical, and often being penny-wise-pound-foolish. They are stubborn, often sarcastic about Business’s lack of technical knowledge. They sometimes succumb to Business’s needs and keep counting on the one time they did give Business what it wanted.
Not to be judgmental, but in general, these definitions pretty much fit every IT and every Business. Some organizations hire consultants to help with the translation and some invest in full time employees. Either ways, there is a need for a mediator – just like a strained marriage needs a shrink – for the two people to translate their needs and expectations.
Interesting how we can equate complex business issues to simple matters of life.