IT Tradition vs. Fashion

The CIO of my organization has an approach to Information Technology that goes against the grain of many IT professionals.

“Tradition is key. Fashion kills.”

This approach is often counter-intuitive to IT managers who are looking¬† to leverage the latest IT trends in order to drive the business next step forward. I see our CIO reject projects that are “no-brainers” only to be proven right in the long run when looking at the bigger picture. The company did not fall apart because the project did not go ahead, and the IT teams were able to find an aternative way to keep things running.

IT receives big and small requests every day to allow or implement technology that other companies are implementing or have been running for a while. Most are declined. Consequently, my company is not as technically advanced in many areas compared to others in our industry, however not coincidentially, the company is doing much better than our competitors during the current economic downturn. This is not strictly due to IT, rather it is part of a senior management approach of making smart decisions and thinking long term.

Flashy projects that include long commitments, vague ROI and expensive maintenance are rarely business enhancers. Fashion is too often about IT serving itself rather than having it serve the organization.