So A Responsive IT Isn’t Critical eh? What colour is the sky in your world?

Just for the record, I didn't go looking for this topic – it landed smack down in my lap quite unexpectedly. I was responding to some LinkedIn notifications, when I answered this poll that asked the question As An IT Professional, What Is Most Important To Enterprises Today? To me there was only one obvious answer – so as I waited for the poll results (while enjoying Sunday morning Playhouse Disney with my daughter) I wondered whether any of the other answers would have received votes…And then bam – I had a flashback to Gary Coleman On YouTube (yes, dating myself again) and a simipler time…Repeat after me:

Even Gary Coleman would be scratching his head with me on this one!
The voices of “Tigger and Poo” were also suddenly more distant, as I reached over for my laptop, feeling the growing urge to post and vent growing within. Take a look below at the screenshot for the unexplainable details that led to my head scratching and this rant. Now before I get the “Survey Police” jumping in and discounting the technical efficacy of this poll, let me save you the trouble. I don't care. I realize I'm drawing some directional conclusions based on ambiguous intentions – but that's life! Deal with it. It's my blog. That's what comments are for.
The Poll Results Suggest A Misaligned Perception...
The undeinable fact is, over 1,200 “Professionals”, albeit not all of them necessarily IT Professionals, in a ratio of almost 2:1 believe Driving Efficiency is more important than IT being able to Respond To Opportunities? Do I need to repeat that? Rinse. Lather Repeat If Needed. Worrysome, isn't it? Of course efficiency is important. We often classify that type of focus and activity as either Operational EFfectiveness or Workforce Efficiency plays. But like a balanced financial portfolio, they are not the only plays in town folks!! Sure, if you're IT organization is strictly viewed as a “cost centre” and one that is not have a significant role to play in Innovation and Enabling Strategy – I'll give you that. But hold on, the 80's are calling…I'll be right back – where's that rotary phone gone to? HELLO?! The only right answer to this poll is Respond To Opportunities. From an organizational perspective, the ability of an IT Team to “respond” – to support the business, enable strategy, be change and innovation leaders – and help the business WIN. This is the true value of IT to the Business. Being efficient? Sure. Driving operational effectivess. Of course. Reducing Cost To Serve? Obviously. But if “IT” is perceived as being “too busy” focusing on efficiency to be able to “respond to opportunities”, then we haven't made the progress I thought we had with the role and value Information Technology brings to the modern enterprise. Perception IS Reality. That's one of the (many) reasons I started blogging about Making IT Work. I want to hear from the IT Professionals out there. What say ye? Or are you too busy perfecting the “wheel” to chime in? -Pedro

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