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Monday, June 4, 2012

Managing IT: IT's a People Business

Managing IT: IT's a People Business

Billions of dollars are spent yearly on Information Technology (IT). Millions of people are employed in the industry. 

Many organizations are dependent on the efficiency enabled by information technology and its people, and yet, somehow the “business” of managing Information Technology (IT) and its People appears to be a greatly neglected and hugely challenging affair. 

A lot is said about technology advances, and how it is impacting businesses and life in general. However, it is much harder to find information on the efficient management of Information Technology departments and functions within our organizations.
As professional in this industry I have been amazed, and still is, at just how inefficient organizations are in managing their IT investments, and organizing their IT departments. When I refer to IT investments, I mostly refer to the most costly part of it all. No, not the infrastructure, communications, and not the software, but the People in IT.
Gartner Research indicated in 2005 that People in IT make up roughly 35% of the operating expenditure, and as high as 25% of the capital expenditure. In late 2005 Gartner Research indicated that people are the single biggest management priority for 70% of CIO’s in 2005/2007. McKinsey Consulting identified that the right IT Professional in the right job as the single biggest cost driver for IT departments.
Not only do people make up a third of the costs of IT then, but this ratio has been increasing as the overall cost of technology decreased. Whichever way you account for the cost of people in IT, it certainly is responsible for 99% of the success of IT. This is one industry that is as reliant on the ability of people, and its efficient and effective organization, as is the medical, accounting or legal professions.
Contrary to popular belief, IT in business is as much about People as it is about Information and Technology. In the Blog posts that follow, I will explore this phenomena in more detail.
I welcome your feedback and comments.
Hendrik van Wyk

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