Enterprise IT's Seven Deadly Sins


By Samuel Greengard

Here are a few of the biggest gaffes enterprises make when it comes to using information technology effectively ... and intelligently:

1. Gain drain. Some companies unleash systems that fuel internal efficiency at the expense of everyone else. Poorly designed interactive voice response systems are a prime example. Companies slash labor costs, but customers spend insane amounts of time pushing buttons and sorting through options. Companies should streamline things for everyone.

2. Integration discombobulation. Many companies--retailers are a perfect example--struggle to integrate systems and channels. The result is an uneven, if not disastrous, experience for customers, business partners and employees. Think like an end user--all the time.

3. Governance a go-go. Many enterprises with state-of-the-art technology and systems still fail because they lack cohesive, comprehensive governance. Today, governance is the foundation for just about everything a business does, and, without it, an organization cannot align business strategy with IT strategy.

4. Tail wags the dog. IT systems should never define business strategies, but this often happens. Although no enterprise sets out to have this problem, outdated or poorly designed systems define processes that thwart efficiency, innovation and agility.

5. One and done. It's no longer possible to toss out an enterprise IT system and check back a year or two later to review results. Business now moves at warp speed, and radical changes take place over weeks or months rather than years. Systems and processes require constant and ongoing monitoring.

6. Oldie and moldy. A big problem with enterprise IT is that it is often driven by CIOs who just don't get today's mobility and social media trends. Here's a concept: Put a couple of bright young employees on your steering committee!

7. BYOD RIP. Any executive who thinks it's possible to block consumer technology--along with the social media apps used with these devices--is headed for the ironsmith shop ... and will likely take the company down with him (or her). Think of consumer technology as an opportunity rather than a problem.