Struggling to do ‘sexy’ stuff with protected IT systems

A common bugbear of mine, how to deploy interesting applications and tools (blogs, wikis etc) on our platform. That’s a tough one. Part of my role is to try to improve our online offerings to staff and the world, sometimes it feels like the IT department’s role is to stop me.

That’s not really fair is it? What they are actually doing is protecting a stable, business critical environment. And they do it well. The consequence is that takes ages and ages of negotiations, documentations, feasibility studies ad infinitum to do anything new and interesting. That of course can make simple things expensive, never mind the actual time accrued.

Increasingly people are looking outside the corporate environment to deploy new stuff quickly. That’s totally understandable and good of course. Its an opportunity to test concepts, stability and security of applications and prove their value. All these things help to prove the business case for corporate adoption (eventually).

I guess its not just government webbies who have this problem, it certainly cut across me several times in the corporate world and that’s not surprising. They share similar cultures to large government departments.

Then I came across this post the other day by Chris Anderson, editor-in chief of Wired magazine (and author of The Long Tail amongst other things).

It made me think, if that is the circumvention that he has to make to do interesting things, we should actively seek to circumvent our IT departments. To promote innovation and to protect the corporate environment. Its a win-win situation when you think about it like that!

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  1. Euan Semple posted the flip side of this point when he wrote about The 100% guaranteed easiest way to do Enterprise 2.0.
    …but being really nice to the people in IT doesn’t hurt.

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