Organizations struggle with the disconnect that seems to exist between the business and IT. Recently, I read an article that espoused the concept of the business unit “owning” the IT resources because traditional IT was too slow, cumbersome, and often a road block. The expanse that exists between IT and the Business is more a function of society than anything. Technical people and non-technical people do not tend to flock together. Additionally, IT has had its flaws (http://blog.engagedconsulting.com/?p=234). The answer, I believe, is somewhere in between.
This trend frankly needs to occur more rapidly with many departments within an organization as well; however, I will certainly agree that priority based upon urgency of innovation, business viability, and so forth points to marketing (for instance) being one of the first, if not the first.
The fatal flaw of IThas most recently been silos. Silos in the terms of areas of expertise (server, storage, network, etc.) as well as exclusion or isolation from the business. IT needs to become more saavy about the business as competitive advantage is leading toward technology assisting in time to market, not to mention market segmentation and the like. Thus, the need for IT to integrate itself within the business units (i.e. Marketing) is ever more necessary today than before. Technologists without knowledge of the business are a dying breed. Technologists must become a part of the business to support it with agility, simplicity, rigor, efficiency, cost effectiveness, and results.
If we tip the pendulum in the opposite direction from standardized, consolidated, and shared IT, we are in danger of doing what society often does; going to far to the opposite extreme – decentralizing, siloing, and creating complexity. The preferable ground is the communion of IT and business by eliminating the chasm that exists between them today; allowing them to become more intimate than each unit owning their own assets, never to integrate with the common goals of other units.