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Ironically, one of the best mechanisms for organizing and managing an IT organization is its fundamental flaw as well.  Organizing IT in silos such as server, storage, network, security, service management, project management, or development groups has driven a behavior that has proven to be detrimental to the over all health of the organization itself.

The grouping of technology areas has served IT organizations well in companies big and small; however, the fundamental flaw that has arisen out of this organizational management is the lack of completion or integration, if you will, between the groups.  When projects or initiative are undertaken, they come to have a life of their own.  In so doing, these projects are generally spear headed by one of the aforementioned silos (technology groups).  This has provided closure and desired results often, but not integration.  For instance, mitigating the risk associated with data / information leaving the organization via USB drives or intellectual property being forwarded to a competitor.  The desired result was the mitigation of the risk; however, the integration into the rest of the organization is generally missed.  All of the ground that was covered to classify the information that is confidential, private, or otherwise has not been shared with the storage group for incorporation into a company wide information lifecycle management practice.

The understanding and acknowledgement of what was accomplished, and how it can serve the rest of the organization is lost.  A party is thrown to show appreciation for the finishing of the initiative or project but the real value of the results drift into the abyss.  This is what causes organizations to cover the same ground over and over again.  A typical scenario – a problem flares up where a client machine is no longer backing up properly.  The problem is worked to closure and resolved; however, the knowledge of that resolution is rarely looked at to allow the organization to mature or get to the next level.  The NIC card was configured to allow chimney offloading (processing of the IP stack on the card instead of through the CPU).  The backup group now has a good understanding of how to recognize the problem and resolve it quickly; however, the network group is not made aware that such configurations are problematic until a new release of the backup software is available.  This leads to contention, mistrust, and reactive behavior between the backup and network groups.

This is the greatest symptom that integration and completion (acknowledgement and insight) does not exist and holds the organization back from maturation.  How often is the competition and laying of problems at the feet of the different groups occur?  Too often!  One might argue that service management solves this issue.  The framework is there within service management to perform root cause analysis and the basis for recording the incident in the community of excellence / body of knowledge.  However, people are still a part of the equation.  People must cross the boundaries of comfort and truly communicate with each other for the maturation of the organization to occur.  In addition, a process must exist to manage changes to business as usual and communicate (not just distribute) the information throughout the organization.  Ultimately, we cannot get away from the fact that people, process, and technology are indelibly entwined.

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