I’m a 32-year-old IT man who works in a basement.
– Moss, The IT Crowd
Once, long ago, it was quite normal to think of the IT team as somehow separate from the rest of the business. Like the characters in UK Channel 4’s The IT Crowd, they inhabited an isolated basement-like room. If your computer broke down, you’d be forced to call them. After a long delay, the phone would be answered, and a bored-sounding person would audibly scratch their head as you tried to explain what had gone wrong.
I may exaggerate a little. In fact, today I want to argue that, far from consigning them to the basement, we need to put the people in IT at the heart of business.
Technology is rapidly changing the nature of work, and work structures are changing along with it. If we silo IT – or any team – we reduce business agility. By making it easy to collaborate through, for example, internal social networks and remote meeting, by questioning established businesses practice such as the daily commute, by working to mitigate cubicle culture, we make it easier to grasp emergent opportunities across the business.
And in today’s highly competitive marketplace, that can make all the difference.
You can come out of the basement now, Moss.
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