Business users are set to by-pass IT departments

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —November 28, 2005
Filed in Anecdotes

I had lunch with Serafino De Simone at Microhelp last week. Serafino has been running his IT company since the 80’s and based on that experience he made the following observation:

The last couple of years is the first time where IT functionality is better at home than at work.

This trend will have some interesting impacts. Take for example the relationship between IT departments and an organisation’s business lines.

IT departments want stability regardless of the business  maelstrom swirling about their head. Everything must be locked down and controlled. We can understand this desire. IT systems are complex and must work. But as a result the company’s IT products are multiple versions behind and new software phenomena like wikis, blogs, VOIP, video streaming are just too hard to contemplate. Yet our sophisticated business users freely use these products at home and the gap between what users expect and what is being delivered is only getting wider.

Unless IT departments become more flexible and responsive we will see many business people by-pass IT and directly subscribe to the online services which deliver the functionality they need. Just look at Basecamp (project management), (sales process), Typepad (blogging), Survey Monkey (online surveys), Bloglines (blog reader) and you will see that these types of applications are proliferating.

About  Shawn Callahan

Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on:


  1. Mary Schmidt says:

    Ah, that age-old human factor. No matter if the technology is better or not – it’s always been a challenge keeping the users under control. Key to IT success is becoming a “service” organization versus “control.”
    Granted, we users have access to terrific tools, but we still need some help when they break…and many of us know just enough to be dangerous.

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