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A power shift in organizations

A power shift in organizations

March 31, 2008 0 Comments

I read an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal today.  It was on a topic totally unrelated to SOA, but carried an important message hidden within it:  Power is shifting to the users and away from IT departments.

The article talked about IT organizations trying to impose governance restrictions on their end-users, and that this may be a losing battle (at least in the case of keeping the iPhone out of IT).  Why is this a losing battle? In the end, productivity of end users is viewed as a very high priority to organizations.  They typically view IT's governance role as one of "first do no harm" (to productivity that is).  IT needs to make sure technologies used by employees are safe, secure, risk-managed, etc. - but it's rarely within IT's mandate to say "you can't use it" (regardless of what many IT organizations might wish), except in heavily regulated industries.

This battle is repeating itself in the SOA world as well: Excel is the worlds most common consumer of web services.  SalesForce.com and Google are among the most commonly leveraged web services in organizations.  As IT organizations try and "lock down" their SOA with governance rules that prohibit ad-hoc use of Excel or prohibit the use of external services "because they don't meet the corporate policies" a backlash will happen.  It's not if, but when.  And, in the end, the users will win, and IT will lose.

dan foody

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