The Journal du Net published one of our columns on the importance of repositioning the IT department at the heart of projects, which we wanted to share with you.
It is clear that many digital projects are often carried out by different parts of the company without the IT department being consulted.
For several months now, digital projects have been multiplying in a frantic manner in all companies. Whether it be within large accounts, ETIs or large SMEs, the implementation of new customer-oriented digital tools is becoming a must-have. A change that brings to light numerous annoyances and a basic methodological disorganisation that we would like to focus on.
Indeed, it is clear that many of these projects are carried out by the various business units of companies without the IT departments being consulted.
The reason for this rift between the business managers of companies and the IT department is, after all, simple to understand. It is a question of moving quickly. These business managers want to stick to the needs of users and lead their own change management. The idea is to quickly produce tools that are 100% user-oriented. A new generation conception of IT projects and tools that does not necessarily correspond to the traditional methods of IT departments.
Conventional methods are rightly seen as too cumbersome, too time-consuming and too costly. They also suffer from the tunnel syndrome. For many years, IT projects resembled the construction of the tunnel under the English Channel. They took months or even years to develop. From the point of view of the company's business lines, no one had a clear view of the production schedules. Projects that were eventually forgotten and, once delivered, did not necessarily correspond to the initial needs.
The consequence of these disruptions within the organisation of companies is not to be overlooked. These new digital projects suffer from many ills.
Firstly, they do not respect the basic methodological principles related to the deployment of any new IT tool.
Safety requirements are often overlooked.
These projects are carried out in a hurry, without anyone taking the time to assess all the potential needs that could be affected by their implementation. This is a shaky situation, but it is still tenable. Indeed, the end user always ends up finding his own solutions. It is a human reflex to adapt to the tool we use on a daily basis. Even if it is imperfect.
Behind the angelism of digital transformation we find many situations of methodological crisis. The first big loser seems to be the IT department. It is isolated in its ivory tower and no longer really controls the company's IT infrastructure. Here and there, IT projects are emerging that it no longer controls. It is even losing its primary role, which is to organise and coordinate the company's various IT tools. In other words, the IT department no longer fulfils its primary function: to serve the user. It is abandoning them to their own devices. In this context, IT departments are facing a new challenge: that of bringing the ball back to the centre and enabling them to take ownership of these projects.
This dynamic must go through various phases of reconquest. The IT Department must reopen the dialogue with the company's various business lines. An open dialogue, carried out in a project mode where the golden rule is none other than co-construction.
The IT manager must also remind his or her staff that any digital project, whatever it may be, remains an IT project, i.e. one that is demanding and time-consuming in terms of human resources. Creating dialogue is, in the end, creating proximity. IT Departments must therefore redeploy their forces within the various departments and business lines of the company. Thus, at the heart of digital projects, the IT department must regain its rightful place: that of training, explaining, listening and supporting its employees.
A virtuous refocusing movement that will be an opportunity to make CIOs the driving force ofinnovation in companies once again.