在线词典,在线翻译

IT部门如何从狗熊变英雄

所属:社会热点 阅读:2058 次 评论:0 条 [我要评论]  [+我要收藏]

小编摘要:随着云计算和社交媒体的兴起,IT部门应该转变他们的工作方式——并且成为公司的英雄。

With the rise of cloud and social, it's time for the IT department to change the way they work -- and become company heroes.

On a daily basis, a select group of individuals are making technology decisions on behalf of their entire organization. They're implementing services to solve real business problems, sometimes under the guidance of their IT department, but most often on their own. For the first time, the power of technology decision-making is in the hands of those who will be using the solutions deployed. These are the managers, project leaders and knowledge workers responsible for getting work done - not just the IT administrators managing implementation or the executives writing the checks. This is truly a revolution in the enterprise, unlike any we've seen before.

This shift poses a major challenge for today's enterprises: how can we let technology run rampant through our organizations, technology that is fundamentally improving business outcomes, while still maintaining some semblance of a coherent IT strategy? It also creates a massive hurdle for legacy software vendors, who traditionally have only cared about one customer - the person buying and implementing their services - with little thought for the end user.

In a recent Techcrunch post, Ben Horowitz argued that not much has changed - the "new boss" is actually the same as the "old boss," and for IT solutions to succeed in the enterprise they still have to be sold to the CIO or C-suite. You can't bypass the CIO forever simply in favor of adoption on the front lines. While Ben's thesis is directionally accurate in that budget and oversight will always be controlled by those at the top, the point that is often overlooked is that adoption is now fundamentally different from buying. In prior decades, this distinction did not exist. Buying and adoption were, for all intents and purposes, synonymous. And adoption was something that happened grudgingly, after technology had already been forced on employees from the top-down.

When end user adoption precedes buying, it happens with purpose and even excitement. Users now have a much greater say in what technology they use, so much so that it's massively disruptive to the organization itself. There's simply no way that IT administrators can get their proverbial arms around all the tools and services that individuals are bringing into the enterprise. Box.net is an example of the type of tool deployed in "Shadow IT," implemented by end users to address a certain pain point, spreading virally throughout project teams and departments. It finally hits the radar of the IT Director or CIO, who at this point has two options: sanction the tool in its current use and evaluate it for broader deployment; or block it, risking a productivity drop and associated business consequences. Companies like T-Mobile, TaylorMade and Hawaiian Airlines have gone the former direction, but many others have taken the latter route, opting to stick with existing IT protocol and maintain tight control through on-premise systems.

These are the options that every IT organization is facing today and will continue to face in the coming years. The adoption-buying split is broadening the disconnect between the roles and desires of end users and IT departments; such a disconnect cannot be sustained without negatively affecting business operations.

Diametrically opposed goals

If you enumerated the goals of the IT department today, they would look something like this: implement the fewest solutions to solve the greatest number of problems, maintain complete control over technology and information, answer to expectations around cost and risk, deploy proven solutions. These are fundamentally at odds with the correlated goals of users: use best-of-breed technology to solve problems, gain complete mobility and flexibility, answer to the productivity expectations of their manager(s), move quickly by using the fastest, most intuitive new tools. Although contradictory, both sets of goals make perfect sense. IT should be responsible for information security. Knowledge workers must be asked to move quickly and stay productive.

So how do we reconcile these seemingly disparate but equally valid needs? Andrew McAfee recently suggested a methodology for managing enterprise software implementation: "...exercise tight control over technology choice, and as little as possible over technology use. Tight control over technology choice ensures that a big organization doesn't wind up with hundreds of disjointed deployment efforts and fragmented technology environments."

This will leave IT with a more stable technology strategy, yet most enterprises already employ tight control over choice, and it's not serving users very well. We must take into account the various users that need these tools to be productive. And as with many things in life, opting for compromise means that most everyone loses. In the interest of reducing the number of systems that need to be managed, companies may end up with the market's least flexible CRM solution. Or perhaps they'll buy a collaboration solution from the same vendor that provides them with networking gear. In both cases, IT wins in manageability in the short term, but users are likely to suffer usability and productivity losses - which means that ultimately, IT will have to become deeply involved in the "technology use" stage as well, providing user training, finding workarounds for lacking functionality, and taking complaints.

Buying based on existing supplier relationships and system consistency -- and avoiding a little chaos and user testing -- is at the root cause of the problem with enterprise technology today: slow, awkward, and unloved by users. The challenge for the next ten years is to create and implement technology that supports the paradoxically different needs of both users and IT departments. We must re-build our enterprises in such a way that there's a connection between our IT vision and what we're demanding of employees. Enter the cloud.

The Cloud changes everything. Really.

By democratizing adoption, the cloud changes everything about enterprise IT. It's now the sales manager that implements Salesforce.com (CRM) for her team. It's the developer that brings Amazon S3 (AMZN) into his toolkit. It's the support representative that selects Zendesk as the simplest solution for her customer service team. As a recent Forrester report noted, "Espcially in firms where IT is seen as plodding and cumbersome to work with, the new price points and preprovisioning of SaaS and cloud will foster renegade buying by the business." Like it or not, users now control the mindshare of their company's IT strategy, and enterprise vendors must begin to build tools that are meant to be used, not just meant to be sold. And this is why startups are inherently disruptive in new markets. They're not beholden to the old business models that represent major profit centers. Starting at a much smaller baseline makes you immune to the risk of cannibalizing past product lines, simply because you have none. And this is why, in just a matter of three to five years, the enterprise technology landscape has changed dramatically. It's also why, in the next three to five years, our corporate IT environments will look remarkably different than they do today.

With enterpise software finally starting to focus on the individual, and not just the IT buyer, we're seeing dramatic changes in business productivity, speed of execution, and overall sentiment towards technology. People are able to work much more quickly, access more information than ever before, and make decisions in real-time that are backed by data -- all leading to a more open, connected and collaborative work environment. With the right solutions, even the IT professionals are happy -- they're finally able to get ahead of the game instead of always having to fight fires, solve problems, and answer to unhappy users. Take Manjit Sighn, CIO of Chaquita Brands, who explained to CIO.com's Thomas Wailgum why he bypassed the entrenched ERP vendors in favor of Workday's on-demand alternative and a more strategically-aligned IT organization: "I want my folks sitting arm in arm with business folks, talking about process transformation and trying to figure out how to bring products to market even quicker...not keeping the lights on running a system."

How everyone wins

When an organization's IT strategy is consistent with what will solve problems for its employees, we'll see the emergence of a more productive, open, and social enterprise. To get here, IT professionals should be doing more "sitting arm in arm with business folks," but this can't happen unless the IT organization is enabled as a strategic group instead of just a technology support center mandated to avoid risk and maintain existing infrastructure. This conservative attitude is the reason that it's safest to go with IBM (IBM) or stay with Microsoft (MSFT) SharePoint, and why innovation in enterprise technology lags behind consumer technology by many years.

It may seem unrealistic to think about IT professionals as the heroes of an organization. They don't belong to the department that makes the most money, or builds the products or services that their company sells. And yet, the IT department fundamentally powers all the activities at the lowest levels of how we operate our business in today's competitive environment. Whether it's end user adopted or company mandated, technology is powering everything we do and informing every decision we make: ERP, CRM, social business software, marketing automation, content management. But despite it's influence, technology has almost never been maximized in the best possible ways, by all the possible parties. That is changing, and quickly. To do this, of course, software vendors have to put much more effort than ever before into building solutions that don't fail their customers and delight rather than block users. We're getting there. We've seen more progress made in moving towards a more user-centric IT strategy in the last year than in the previous ten years, and this revolution will continue to gain momentum - and attention - in 2011.


在当今的很多企业中,有一些优秀人才每天代表整个企业进行技术决策。他们执行各种服务,以解决企业的实际业务问题——有时是在IT部门的指导下采取行动,不过大多数时候由他们独立进行。在企业里,技术决策的权力首次落到了解决方案的使用者手里。他们就是部门经理、项目主管和进行实际操作的知识工作者,而不是那些管理项目执行的IT管理员,也不是那些负责写支票的高管。这的确称得上是企业的一场革命,它与我们以往见过的任何企业变革都不同。

这种变革为今天的企业提出了一个重要的挑战:科技正在从根本上提高企业的产出,我们应该如何使技术的触角延伸到企业的各个角落,同时依然保持一个看起来连贯一致的IT战略?这种变革也为遗产软件(legacy software)厂商带来了大量的阻碍,这些厂商传统上只关心一个客户,即购买并执行他们的服务的人,而很少考虑终端客户。

在科技博客Techcrunch最近的一篇博文中,本?霍罗维茨认为,企业的科技决策情况并没有太大改变,“新老板”实际上仍是原来的“旧老板”。要想让一套IT解决方案在企业里获得成功,它们还是要赢得企业首席信息官或公司管理层的信赖。虽然你可能想让一线员工直接采用这些解决方案,但你不可能永远绕开首席信息官。霍罗维茨的观点在方向上是正确的,因为预算和监管都是由管理层控制的,不过有一点经常被人忽视,那就是解决方案的“采购”与“采用”之间有着本质上的差异。在此前的几十年里,这种差异并不存在。不管出于何种用途和目的,“采购”与“采用”都是一对同义词。然而,由于IT技术在企业内部由上至下地被强加到员工身上,“采用”成为一种不情愿的事。

如果终端用户的采用发生在企业的采购之前,那么这些“采用”实例不但目的明确,甚至带有兴奋感。如今终端用户在选择他们所使用的技术时有了更大的发言权,乃至足以给企业本身带来混乱。IT管理员无法一手包管众多员工自行在工作中使用的各种IT工具和服务,因此企业中就产生了所谓的“影子IT”(即未经批准就在组织内部使用的IT系统和解决方案——译注),影子IT是由终端用户部署的,目的是解决某一特定难点,它在各种项目团队和部门里传播得极为迅速。例如Box.net就是一种“影子IT”类型的工具,这一工具后来终于被IT主管和首席信息官们察觉到,他们这时有两种选择:一、批准影子IT的使用,并对其进行评估,以使它获得更广泛的部署;二、禁止影子IT的使用,不过这可能带来生产力下降的风险,并对一些相关业务造成影响。对此,电信公司T-Mobile、泰勒梅(TaylorMade)和夏威夷航空(Hawaiian Airlines)采取了第一种办法,而许多其他的公司则采取了第二种办法,即坚持只使用现有的IT协议,并通过内部系统进行严格控制。

这些是每个IT部门每天都会面对的问题,而且在未来的几年里,他们仍然每天都要面对这些问题。由于采用与采购之间的分离,使得终端用户与IT部门的角色和需求出现了脱节,而且脱节的程度越来越大。这种脱节只要存在下去,就会对企业的运营产生负面影响。

目标迥异

如果要列举IT部门当今的主要目标,一般包括以下几点:一、实施最少的解决方案,解决最多的问题;二、对技术和信息保持完全的控制;三、符合企业对成本和风险的预期;四、部署经过验证的解决方案。这与终端用户的目标有着根本上的差异。终端用户的目标包括:一、用最先进技术来解决问题;二、获得最大程度的移动性和灵活性;三、满足部门经理对生产力的预期;四、通过使用最快、最直观的新工具来加快运行速度。尽管IT部门与终端用户在目标上存在着矛盾,不过二者的目标都有各自的道理。IT应该为信息安全负责;另一方面,企业必然要求知识工作者迅速行动,保持高生产力。

那么,我们应该如何调和这些看起来相异、实则各有道理的需求呢?安德鲁?麦卡菲最近提出了一种管理企业软件实施的方法。“……对技术的选择进行严格的控制,但对技术的使用则尽可能放手不管。企业对技术的选择严加控制,可以确保一个大的组织不至于被数百个脱节的IT部署以及四分五裂的技术环境搞得焦头烂额。”

这意味着企业将对IT采取更加稳健的技术战略,目前大多数企业都已经对技术选择采取了严格控制,但终端用户却感到不太方便。我们必须将各种终端用户考虑在内,他们需要这些工具来保持生产力。就像生活中的许多事情一样,折衷往往意味着几乎每个人都要遭受一些损失。为了减少需要管理的系统数量,企业可能最终选择了市场上灵活性最小的客户关系管理(CRM)解决方案,或者从为他们提供网络工具的厂商那里购买一套协作解决方案。在以上两种情况中,企业只是在短期内获得了易于管理的好处,但终端用户则可能遭遇使用不便和生产力下降等问题。这意味着最终IT必须涉足“技术使用”阶段,向用户提供培训,而且不得不因为功能的缺乏而寻找变通的方法,并且承受抱怨。

企业倾向于基于现有的供应商关系、并基于系统的一致性来进行采购,这样做可以避免一些混乱,减少用户测试,但这正是造成企业技术问题的根源(如运行缓慢、操作不便、不受用户欢迎)。如何建立并实施能够同时满足用户和IT部门的不同需求的技术,这是未来十年的重大挑战。我们必须以一种新的方式重建我们的企业,使企业的IT愿景与其对员工的要求相关联。因此我们必须要进入云计算的时代。

云计算改变了一切

云计算使解决方案的采用大众化了,因此它改变了企业IT的方方面面。现在,做决定的是为其团队部署Salesforce.com的销售经理;是将Amazon S3放入工具箱的开发人员;是选择Zendesk作为其客户服务团队最简便的解决方案的客服代表。正如Forrester最近的一份报告指出:“尤其在那些认为IT十分乏味和麻烦的企业里,‘软件即服务’(SaaS)由于其价格和提前供应等优点,将导致一些企业不再向传统的供应商进行采购,而是转而投向‘转件即服务’的怀抱。”不管企业喜不喜欢,终端用户都控制着企业IT战略的“心理份额”,而为企业服务的厂商也必须开始打造实用的工具,而不能仅仅想着将它们卖出去赚钱。这就是为什么初创公司在新市场上天生具有破坏性,他们并不依赖代表了主要利润中心的旧业务模式。由于初创公司起步较低,他们根本不存在新品蚕食自家旧产品市场份额的风险——因为他们压根没有旧的产品线。这就是为什么在短短的三五年里,企业的技术环境出现了显著的变化。这也是为什么在未来的三五年里,我们的企业IT环境将与今天的明显不同。

随着企业软件终于开始关注个体,而不是仅仅关注IT采购者,企业的生产力、执行速度以及企业对技术的总体认识已经发生了巨大的变化。人们可以更快捷地工作、接触到比以往任何时候都要多的信息,并且进行有数据支持的实时决策——这些都催生了更加开放、连接、协作的工作环境。有了正确的解决方案,就连IT专业人士都高兴了——他们终于可以以逸待劳,而不用总是忙着四处救火、解决问题,或疲于应对客户的报怨。例如Chaquita Brands公司的首席信息官曼吉特?赛恩就向CIO.com的托马斯?威尔甘解释了他如何绕过公司传统的企业资源计划(ERP)合作厂商,转而采购Workday公司按需定制的ERP产品,以打造一个战略上一致的IT组织:“我希望我们的IT员工能够和业务员工并肩作战,希望他们能讨论流程改革,并希望他们能找到办法更快地将产品打入市场……而不是仅仅关注如何运行系统。”

如何共赢

当一家企业的IT战略能够为员工解决问题时,企业的生产力将提高,同时企业将变得更加开放、更加社会化。为了达到这一目标,IT专业人士应该更多地“与业务员工并肩作战”,不过如果企业只将IT部门当成一个技术支持中心,认为IT部门的职责只是避免风险、维持现有基础设施,而不是将它当成一个战略部门,那么这个目标就不可能实现。正是这种保守的态度,使许多企业认为IBM或微软(Microsoft)SharePoint等网络平台才是最安全的;也正是这种态度,使得企业科技领域在创新上大大落后于消费科技领域。

将IT人士视为企业的英雄,似乎有些不切实际。他们的部门不是最能为企业赚钱的部门,他们也造不出能让企业拿来卖钱的产品。然而在今天的竞争环境中,IT部门却从根本上推动了企业的所有商业行为。不管是终端用户的采用,还是企业的委托,ERP、CRM、社交商业软件、市场自动化和内容管理等技术都为我们的各种行为提供了方便,并且为我们的每一项决策提供了信息支持。尽管技术的影响力十分巨大,但却从未有人以最理想的方式,使技术的效能得到最大化的发挥。不过这种情况正在迅速转变。当然,为了达到这个目标,软件制造商必须付出前所未有的努力,打造不会令顾客失望的解决方案,并且令顾客感到欣喜,而不是妨碍他们的工作。我们离这个目标已经不远了。在过去一年里,我们正在朝着以用户为中心的IT战略迈进,我们在这方面的进步比此前的10年还要多。而在2011年,这种决心将更加坚定,并将获得更多的关注。
标签:IT部门
0
2011-02-10 13:14 编辑:kuaileyingyu
分享到:
关注海词微博:
上一篇:女性创业建议
下一篇:欲望面面观
发表评论:
表达一些您的想法吧!已有0条评论>>
登录,再发表评论
文明上网,理性发言!
>>精华推荐阅读
热门评论文章