Governance versus Innovation

Currently the IT department has a lot of control on how to govern and administrate the computers in the organization. It is usually based on the idea that the economies of scale is the preferred perspective to make use of e.g., when it comes to discussion on how to enable the users to operate with new features.

The CIOs tends to favor ideas of that when the governance committee has decided how the group is designed and who should be consulted when it comes to input and enforcement but they tend not to understand the need for user customization that has the potential to crystalize innovation and by that strengthen the organization.

After all it is the users who usually understand how they can improve their work conditions and their way to handle various forms of tasks e.g., organizing, information handling or knowledge sharing.

In this perspective it is rather clear that the persons who have a first hand impression of the situation are those who should be able to find suitable solutions for the problems at hand.

The IT department often play a critical role of the degree of freedom and thereby degree of innovation the users can achieve. If the IT department enforces the strategies the strategy committee has articulated and enforcing its view of governance then the employees often have to live by the rules of the IT department.

From the CIOs point of view then the organization’s use of IT has to be efficient both in usage and in costs. This means that the organization has to focus on keeping costs down on maintenance and focusing on pleasing the stakeholders of the IT projects. With this in mind then the IT department will focus on limiting the possible configurations of the computers and information systems in the organization so end user support and technical support can be easily deployed.

In other words the organization is in a constant struggle between efficiency and innovation.

As mentioned before then it is of vital importance that the organization is able to innovate its processes and by that the employees of the organization actively engage in the improvement of the organization structure. The Coherency Architect has to focus on both the efficiency (costs and support) and the issues of innovation in the core of the organization.

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