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The Impact of Convergence on IT Strategies

June 4, 2019

I take an alternative approach to IT strategy and that is to make it simpler for everyone involved. Not necessarily throw more technology/money at the problem.

 

The challenge that we face as IT leaders is balancing enterprise security and functionality with eliminating the friction it causes when people just want to get the job done. Whether we know it or not, IT professionals need to realize that we can either handicap an organization (or cynically offer cover to less ambitious individuals) or assist in the organization become more profitable. I’ve worked with IT professionals that are less concerned with securing the environment and more with controlling individuals. It’s a character flaw that could be exhibited by people in any position of power, but one that IT administrators seem to be predisposed to. The IT organization needs to take a hard look at the holistic goals of the business (preferably, more specific than just “turn a profit”) then identify how to integrate technology to help make it easier to achieve these goals. Not be the trolls under the bridge waiting for someone to violate a technology agreement signed upon employment. In my experience, most people want to get their jobs done the best they can and the tech team proves to be the opposing defense preventing them from scoring when in actuality everyone is on the same team. Identifying ways to minimize the friction the tech team imposes on the rest of the organization is the first step towards converging multiple IT strategies, which presumably focus on security and reliability. Really, the rest of the company just wants it to work. This is not to dismiss security, reliability, redundancy, or any other concern technology leaders have about their organization. It’s to say that priorities don’t always align perfectly between the different silos. Instead, these strategies need to blend together, resembling a Venn diagram. For instance, how do you make it easier for a user to securely use their mobile device without forcing them to carry two phones? Easy enough. Implement, mobile device management. How do you prevent users from falling victim to a basic e-mail phishing scam? Train the users with regular faux-phishing campaigns that keep them diligent while teaching them about basic information security practices.

 

Converging IT strategies isn’t just about AI, machine learning, automation, orchestration, and security. Those are the accouterments to an IT strategy. It’s about getting back to basics and making it easier for the profit centers to do their jobs while maintaining a watchful eye on the castle. True, this balancing act is not easy which explains why many IT organizations find themselves unsuccessful at it. Collaborating with other departments is essential to successfully converge IT’s goals with that of the company’s. They needn’t be independent. Off the shelf tools such as Office365 or Duo offer easy to learn tools (arguably more important that easy to use) that help everyone meet those combined goals set during the convergence process.

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