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How community will save both IT and the business user

In an earlier post, I wrote about the angst of the IT professional. While the IT pro is a hero that works day in and out to enable the rest of us to work in a smooth and seamless fashion, he is often accorded very little credit for his work and only has eyes turned on him when things go south.

Alignment is needed between business and IT

Much of this treatment and the ensuing angst stems from the ongoing conflict between business and IT. Business users are is hungry for data NOW, and to business users, IT represents an obstacle: the embodiment of command, control, and sloth. IT, on the other hand, understands and values the needs for process, compliance, governance, and security at scale and thus conceives of business users as fickle and excessively needy.

ebook: Five Keys to Ending the Battle Between Business and IT

From data to decision: what is the REAL crowdsourcing?

About ten years ago, the notion of crowdsourcing gained wide currency in the corporate world. The premise behind the idea is simple:  organizations can gain a great deal from the ideas and energies of people outside the corridors of power, including from ordinary employees to partners and consumers.

The notion that good ideas come from the shop floor and other metaphorical places where most of the actual work is done was not a new one. But recently, for the first time, networking and internet technologies have made it possible to crowdsource at scale in record time. Hundreds of companies and hundreds of thousands of initiatives sprung forth from the well of funding for crowdsourcing; these companies reveled in their mission to democratize and level the playing field of ideas. 

The angst of the IT professional

IT BI

Years ago, I had the most enjoyable stint at Microsoft. For three years, my team looked after the relationship between IT professionals and Microsoft in the U.S. It was a great job because the entire rationale was to find ways to enhance the IT pros’ experience, while helping them connect to and understand Microsoft. It was also great because I got to pore over tons of interesting research about the mainstay audience of the IT business.

Getting inside the IT mind

In order to do the job, I had to immerse myself in information about the life of an IT professional. What do they do? What technologies do these professionals use? How many hours do they work and for how much pay? What companies do they like to work with? These were some of the basic questions we aimed to answer. Added to that were more organizational questions such as, What does he or she spend time doing daily? Do they relate to particular people in the organization?

How to introduce agile principles to BI

In 2001, a group of software developers got together at a ski lodge to discuss a better way to develop software. The outcome was the Agile Manifesto, a constitution for a new way to build software. What followed was the agile movement, which values:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

The joys of globalization: the TimeXtender experience

Globalization has become the watchword in business as organizations, supply chains, data, and transactions cross borders, cultures, time-zones, and legal and financial frameworks. The term itself connotes an interconnected world economy. The idea is not a new one, but the degree of connectedness across space and time is likely the highest it’s ever been.