Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions



  • Youtube Video

    Often IT knows that the business is making crazy, reckless decisions. But they fail to be able to convince the business to do what is good for itself. How do businesses and IT departments get so disconnected that the team who is there for guidance gets ignored and teams who have no idea what is needed make decisions.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    Often IT knows that the business is making crazy, reckless decisions. But they fail to be able to convince the business to do what is good for itself. How do businesses and IT departments get so disconnected that the team who is there for guidance gets ignored and teams who have no idea what is needed make decisions.

    Because many IT people do not know how to speak business.



  • @JaredBusch I agree with this!



  • @JaredBusch But should they? To a certain amount I think so, but it can not be a requirement for communication between teams. I should not have to pretty up my recommendations with business language for them to be taken serious but I will phrase them differently to make things clear for non-tech people. And I expect them to do the same for me. Work together not against each other right?



  • @FakeNoMore said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    @JaredBusch But should they? To a certain amount I think so, but it can not be a requirement for communication between teams. I should not have to pretty up my recommendations with business language for them to be taken serious but I will phrase them differently to make things clear for non-tech people. And I expect them to do the same for me. Work together not against each other right?

    The problem is that you cannot convince a business to make a decision by just providing technical lingo and what have you.



  • Like trying to convince anyone of anything, it's all about selling them on the WIIFM (What's In It For Me).



  • @FakeNoMore said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    @JaredBusch But should they? To a certain amount I think so, but it can not be a requirement for communication between teams. I should not have to pretty up my recommendations with business language for them to be taken serious but I will phrase them differently to make things clear for non-tech people. And I expect them to do the same for me. Work together not against each other right?

    Yes, I think so. It's a requirement for the IT department to talk to other departments. All departments need to talk in a neutral, universal business language as the lingua franca of the company. Finance, legal, operations, IT.... all the same.

    IT is a business function, so has to talk business. Management is not a tech function, and has no real ability to speak or learn tech to a useful level.

    Now this goes both ways.... business management also can't get stuck in the weeds and asking for technical details that they won't understand and using that to override well thought out decisions with random ones.



  • @dbeato said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    @FakeNoMore said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    @JaredBusch But should they? To a certain amount I think so, but it can not be a requirement for communication between teams. I should not have to pretty up my recommendations with business language for them to be taken serious but I will phrase them differently to make things clear for non-tech people. And I expect them to do the same for me. Work together not against each other right?

    The problem is that you cannot convince a business to make a decision by just providing technical lingo and what have you.

    Well, to be fair, as an IT & business guy, you wouldn't convince me either. No amount of technical lingo matters, I need to know how that tech lingo translates into profits. Now, unlike an average business person, I can see the value automatically in a lot of tech... like telling me we need extra disks for RAID I don't need other explanation. But I also don't need to be told those details, just get RAID.



  • @scottalanmiller What do you mean? I wasn't trying to convince anyone.



  • @dbeato said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    @scottalanmiller What do you mean? I wasn't trying to convince anyone.

    No, I was just pointing out that even as an IT person, if you don't tell me the business value of a proposal, I assume you don't know it because you didn't figure it out and aren't ready to make a proposal yet. If you can't convince the business, you shouldn't be able to convince IT either.



  • So the question is how much business knowledge does the average IT person need to get their point across?



  • @scottalanmiller said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    @dbeato said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    @scottalanmiller What do you mean? I wasn't trying to convince anyone.

    No, I was just pointing out that even as an IT person, if you don't tell me the business value of a proposal, I assume you don't know it because you didn't figure it out and aren't ready to make a proposal yet. If you can't convince the business, you shouldn't be able to convince IT either.

    I see, yeah I agree with that.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    @dbeato said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    @scottalanmiller What do you mean? I wasn't trying to convince anyone.

    No, I was just pointing out that even as an IT person, if you don't tell me the business value of a proposal, I assume you don't know it because you didn't figure it out and aren't ready to make a proposal yet. If you can't convince the business, you shouldn't be able to convince IT either.

    yeah, that's basically what DB was saying as well, though he wasn't talking about convincing IT...



  • @jmoore said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    So the question is how much business knowledge does the average IT person need to get their point across?

    It depends. Are they a team member who only does intra-IT communications, then relatively little, but still a bit, enough to talk in terms of cost savings, profits, risk abatement, etc. But if they are inter-departmental, then a lot, as much as anyone in finance or corporate management.



  • @jmoore said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    So the question is how much business knowledge does the average IT person need to get their point across?

    If you talk to Scott and JB - nearly as much as the CEO (at least in regards to understanding value of a project) - at least from my discussions.



  • @Dashrender Ok, that makes sense.



  • @Dashrender said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    @jmoore said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    So the question is how much business knowledge does the average IT person need to get their point across?

    If you talk to Scott and JB - nearly as much as the CEO (at least in regards to understanding value of a project) - at least from my discussions.

    And moreso in an average company... but that's not because it is IT's job to be that good, it's because the CEO is failing at theirs 😉

    If your CEO is good, you don't need to know nearly as much to be totally effective. But a CIO or whoever is in the top IT slot, should be one of the key advisers at the executive board table along with the CFO and COO. That's your big four that drive the company decision making when the company is healthy. Others, like legal, HR, etc. have lots of value too, but the CIO, CFO, COO, CEO and sometimes CTO are the key team that should be putting together the corporate vision.



  • In a tech organization, it is logical for the CIO to report to the COO as in that one case the COO is an IT person. So that's an obvious exception.



  • @JaredBusch does a pretty decent presentation on selling SIP services to a business (SIP over TDM/old school POTS or T1). It's all about dollars.

    The one place the presentation doesn't really hit on is reliability of the circuit. Of course to wit Scott will say - US carriers of old school telecom are horrible, and most ISPs are equally as reliable, if not more so than carriers. And unlike carriers, you can likely more easily setup redundancies with the ISP, when was the last time typical businesses setup redundancy on their phone service?



  • @Dashrender said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    The one place the presentation doesn't really hit on is reliability of the circuit. Of course to wit Scott will say - US carriers of old school telecom are horrible, and most ISPs are equally as reliable, if not more so than carriers. And unlike carriers, you can likely more easily setup redundancies with the ISP, when was the last time typical businesses setup redundancy on their phone service?

    Not really a place where the CEO should care. In a healthy organization, Jared's presentation would be from the telecom person or team to the CIO. The CIO would just inform the CEO of what they are doing, if he even needed to know. A CEO should not be stuck in the weeds of demanding to understand why modern infrastructure is more reliable than legacy infrastructure.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    @Dashrender said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    The one place the presentation doesn't really hit on is reliability of the circuit. Of course to wit Scott will say - US carriers of old school telecom are horrible, and most ISPs are equally as reliable, if not more so than carriers. And unlike carriers, you can likely more easily setup redundancies with the ISP, when was the last time typical businesses setup redundancy on their phone service?

    Not really a place where the CEO should care. In a healthy organization, Jared's presentation would be from the telecom person or team to the CIO. The CIO would just inform the CEO of what they are doing, if he even needed to know. A CEO should not be stuck in the weeds of demanding to understand why modern infrastructure is more reliable than legacy infrastructure.

    Right, but in that case the case is made to the CIO, not the CEO, because what you stated.
    So the CIO would need to know these things, I would think.



  • @Dashrender said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    @scottalanmiller said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    @Dashrender said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    The one place the presentation doesn't really hit on is reliability of the circuit. Of course to wit Scott will say - US carriers of old school telecom are horrible, and most ISPs are equally as reliable, if not more so than carriers. And unlike carriers, you can likely more easily setup redundancies with the ISP, when was the last time typical businesses setup redundancy on their phone service?

    Not really a place where the CEO should care. In a healthy organization, Jared's presentation would be from the telecom person or team to the CIO. The CIO would just inform the CEO of what they are doing, if he even needed to know. A CEO should not be stuck in the weeds of demanding to understand why modern infrastructure is more reliable than legacy infrastructure.

    Right, but in that case the case is made to the CIO, not the CEO, because what you stated.
    So the CIO would need to know these things, I would think.

    Correct, the information is good, but is for "inside IT", not for "the business".



  • @scottalanmiller said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    @Dashrender said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    @scottalanmiller said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    @Dashrender said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    The one place the presentation doesn't really hit on is reliability of the circuit. Of course to wit Scott will say - US carriers of old school telecom are horrible, and most ISPs are equally as reliable, if not more so than carriers. And unlike carriers, you can likely more easily setup redundancies with the ISP, when was the last time typical businesses setup redundancy on their phone service?

    Not really a place where the CEO should care. In a healthy organization, Jared's presentation would be from the telecom person or team to the CIO. The CIO would just inform the CEO of what they are doing, if he even needed to know. A CEO should not be stuck in the weeds of demanding to understand why modern infrastructure is more reliable than legacy infrastructure.

    Right, but in that case the case is made to the CIO, not the CEO, because what you stated.
    So the CIO would need to know these things, I would think.

    Correct, the information is good, but is for "inside IT", not for "the business".

    So question - where do you see that CIO person fitting? You've already said they were IT, but are they more an executive - or more IT? or do you not see a difference in this case?



  • @Dashrender said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    @scottalanmiller said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    @Dashrender said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    @scottalanmiller said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    @Dashrender said in Disconnected: Why Companies Encourage Bad IT Decisions:

    The one place the presentation doesn't really hit on is reliability of the circuit. Of course to wit Scott will say - US carriers of old school telecom are horrible, and most ISPs are equally as reliable, if not more so than carriers. And unlike carriers, you can likely more easily setup redundancies with the ISP, when was the last time typical businesses setup redundancy on their phone service?

    Not really a place where the CEO should care. In a healthy organization, Jared's presentation would be from the telecom person or team to the CIO. The CIO would just inform the CEO of what they are doing, if he even needed to know. A CEO should not be stuck in the weeds of demanding to understand why modern infrastructure is more reliable than legacy infrastructure.

    Right, but in that case the case is made to the CIO, not the CEO, because what you stated.
    So the CIO would need to know these things, I would think.

    Correct, the information is good, but is for "inside IT", not for "the business".

    So question - where do you see that CIO person fitting? You've already said they were IT, but are they more an executive - or more IT? or do you not see a difference in this case?

    To me, there is no difference. Anyone making IT decisions has to be a business person to do that job. The CIO has to be completely in sync with everything in the business and be thinking completely within the holistic business context. But they must also be a generalist with a deep understanding of nearly every aspect of IT.

    This is why a CIO role is rare and expensive... you need someone who would be reasonably expensive in their business role OR their IT role, then the overhead of putting those two roles together in a single human.

    And this is why so many CIOs are terrible, they often only have tech skills or business and are unable to bridge the gap which is their role.