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Written by CloudTalent – published 9 September 2013

Geoff Alder, CloudTalent’s IT Architect

As mobile technology develops, CloudTalent’s IT Architect Geoff Alder thinks CTOs should urge their IT departments to move outside their comfort zone to become ‘credible enablers’.

The misnomer that IT must own and control access to and delivery of information has come from the days when the exercise of restricting and controlling access was so complex that it required someone in the IT profession to administer it.

Moving forward to a time where the real owners and users of the information can do more with the data themselves through the use of well-designed technology and tools, rather than having to raise a ticket to IT and wait for a response is to be welcomed. It can radically speed up the information lifecycle.

However, with these positive developments comes some danger. The IT department lives in the world of policies and obligations issued by HR, Legal, Compliance, Risk and sometimes regulators, where they have to consider the implications of master data management, security, availability, recovery objectives, reputational risk and cost to name a few.

Highly innovative technology companies dealing directly with the business, offering targeted solutions often with real tangible benefits, are not constrained by complying with corporate policy. Being external, they logically focus on the chance of more revenue for their company and not the responsibilities of being the enterprise custodians of the data entrusted to their solution. This can lead to short-term gains, but longer-term issues and in the worst case, significant policy breach.

The importance of the IT department positioning themselves as a credible enabler to the business, rather than the prison warden or police function, has never been so important. So that the business feels it can work with IT to gain benefits from the consumerisation of technology, so that end users can do more for themselves, but still be protected by the cradle of the IT department. IT departments need to be prepared to move outside of their traditional comfort zone, revisit the first principles of why they exist, and show they can embrace change.

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