Friday, January 25, 2013

Will Business and IT Aligned?

For decades we are talking about closing the gap between business and IT, but the gap is still as wide as it was.
In the beginning of the ERP era, we focused on aligning Business Processes and Core Systems, but in most enterprises we failed.

SOA was the next alignment promise: defining the SOA Services in Business boundaries instead of Technical boundaries, should narrow the gap. However, despite of SOA Business Value (Agility and Reusein most enterprises, the large Business-IT Gap remained as large as it was. 

The IT Community aimed at the next alignment attempt: SOA is technical and BPM is its Business related complement. 

Will the current BPM based alignment attempt succeed? I do not know, but Nick Heath's article  titled: Stop doing what the vendors tell you, CIOs told, published in Tech Republic, suggests that the root of the problem is not Technological.  

Stop Doing What the vendors Tell You
Nick Heath's article is based on Gartner's CIOs survey. Gartner surveyed more than 2,000 CIOs about their plans for the coming year.Heath's  summary of the survey result is: "The problem with CIOs is they don't appear to share the singular focus of their organization. In general, Corporate IT strategies are largely unchangeable and loaded with generic  statements about cost and service levels."

In other words: 
1. IT priorities are not in accordance with Strategic Business priorities.
2. IT Strategies are inflexible and static. The CIOs do not change strategies when the Business is adapting to changes.     

My Take
It is not because of SOA or BPM or ERP that Business and IT Alignment is not improving. 
The reasons are closely related to perception:
How IT professionals evalute their department's  contribution to their Corporate Business (They think that they contribute a lot) vs. the way Business professionals perceived their Enterprise IT  (You can not do Business with them and you can not do Business without them, Inflexible, not aligned with Corporate Goals and Missions).

The Gap could be narrowed, if and only if,  IT professionals and Business people views of the other team DNA and Role will be changed. 

The Risk of Consumerization and Could Computing
Consumerization may reduce IT and CIOs responsibilities and budgets, because users could bring their Own  Devices and Software.

Cloud Computing could also narrow IT scope, because non-IT managers can buy IT services and systems directly from Cloud Vendors.

The risk is Chaos or loosing Control of IT Systems. 

IT Vendors and CIOs
Gartner's recommendation to CIOs, as described by Nick Heath, is not new: IT Vendors could shift IT goals away from the Corporate goals and strategies.

Few years ago I wrote few posts on possible Vendors conflict of interests e.g. 
SOA VDS – AmberPoint Example, ESB for an Orphan.
CIOs not stop always from doing what the vendors tell them, but they should understand when it is proper to act according to a vendor recommendation and when it is not.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Vendors Survival: Apple no longer a shining star?

On July, 2011 I wrote a post titled: 

Vendors Survival: Will Apple Survive until 2021?

Many people thought that the question I asked is irrelevant: Apple was never more successful. Not everyone of them is so sure today. 

Apple's position was changed. The graph above derived from Yahoo! Finance page depicts the change: Apple's stock is going down in the last 6 months. 

I could use a three months graph instead of a 6 months graph, which could show more dramatic change, but I thought that it is not correct to use so short term graph. 

The red line compares Google's stock to Apple's stock. No similar trend is depicted in Google's stock.  

What was changed since 2011?
Apple is less successful than before. It looks like the company lost Mind Share: it is not so cool and is no longer perceived as the innovative company.
"Sic transit gloria mundi" is a Latin proverb saying that glory will not last for ever.

One of the Risks mentioned in my 2011 post, was less Innovation ("Who can guarantee that Apple will not become less innovative company in the future?" ).
Apple of today is less Innovative, or at list perceived as less Innovative company than it was.

Bottom Line
Extrapolation of the current negative trend  as indicator of Apple's future could be wrong. As I already mentioned in my 2011 post, Apple is a Mountains Train: it may resolve its current challenges and grow or it may not.

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