Based in Denver, CO, Agile Ideation collects the thoughts and experiences of Ed Schaefer. His posts explore agile and devops related topics as he works to maximize team effectiveness and minimize waste through continuous learning, coaching and empowering teams.

IT Value and Risk


In the process of managing IT, organizations must assess and reevaluate the technology path it chooses to follow in delivering value (both to internal and external customers). Inherent in this process is the assumption of risk, and consequently, what happens with unfavorable outcomes. As a reply to this post identify some of the risks, what the impact may be, and how an organization can overcome unfavorable outcomes.


While there may be any number of risks for any decisions made at an organization, when it comes to managing IT I believe the risks really fall into two categories. The first category covers making decisions and upgrades or changing the system too slowly, or not making decisions at all and being stuck in maintenance mode. In this category of risk IT systems can become tremendously outdated making it even more difficult to upgrade or switch to a new system in the future. There is also the risks associated with falling behind competitors and the firm is no longer able to be competitive in terms of technology. This could mean that processing takes longer, or clients can't do what they want online, or employees have to find work arounds to complete tasks. The second category includes making decisions too quickly, creating quick fixes instead of long term planning, and even trying to stay up with the cutting edge technology. In this category one risk is implementing a new system that is a poor fit, and has to be replaced much sooner than if additional time had been taken when deciding what technology to utilize. The tech may not meet company standards or requirements, might become obsolete too quickly, might not integrate with other existing systems or be expandable to meet the future needs and requirements of the business. This aligns with the risks associated with IT trying to implement quick fix solutions that only have a minor impact on the business. When this is done the resulting systems and applications may be numerous and now require IT to spend more time and resources on maintenance, which detracts from their ability to be flexible, continuously make moderate upgrades, and keep up with the changing requirements of the organization. Given these two categories of risk it is important for an organization to have strong IT management who can maintain consistent pacing with gradual upgrades and changes while always working to keep up with the needs of the business.

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