Timeless IT Follies

Greetings, esteemed CIOs and technology leaders! As we usher in the futuristic world of 2024, it’s comforting to know that some things never change – like IT departments consistently missing the memo on progress. So, grab your coffee, sit back, and let’s chuckle our way through the five timeless blunders IT departments will undoubtedly keep getting wrong, proving once again that change is overrated!

1. Not Aligning IT to Business Goals and OKRs

Ah, the sweet symphony of misalignment! In 2024, IT departments are still perfecting the art of playing their own tune, blissfully unaware that the rest of the company is listening to a completely different melody. It’s like a corporate version of “The Voice,” but with everyone singing different songs, and no one turning their chairs around.

Aligning with the business is hard. IT wants crisp and clear objectives, and business leaders instead lead with fuzzy foresights and subject-to-change nearterm objectives. Alignment doesn’t need to be perfect, but IT can’t just throw in the towel, either. Get aligned, no matter how messy at first. 

2. Not Consolidating Your Application Portfolio

Companies continue to amass and horde redundant applications, yet complain about “tough economic headwinds” and “tightening of belts.” Somewhere, Marie Kondo is shedding the world’s loneliest tear. 

Redundant software doesn’t bring us joy. It brings huge expenses, security risks, and IT overhead. Many companies are oblivious to the problem. And worse yet are the companies that invest in expensive software asset management (SAM) tools which clearly highlight software sprawl, yet do nothing about the problem!

Savings millions of dollars is totally possible; it just isn’t easy. Get rid of these expensive apps by taking a stand and making some hard decisions. That’s what leaders do!

3. Not Touting Your Wins to the Organization

In the mystical land of IT, humility reigns supreme. Why boast about your victories when you can revel in the mystery of silent success? In 2024, IT departments will continue to be the unsung heroes, silently fixing problems like digital ninjas, leaving the rest of the company blissfully unaware.

Again, we’re living in a time where every dollar counts. Don’t you want everyone in the enterprise to know exactly how important IT is? (Hint: less-than-critical things have a tendency go away in tough times.) If you don’t toot IT’s horn, who will?

4. Not Defining Your Customers, Products, and Services

Customers? Products? Services? Who has time for such academic matters when there are servers to maintain and code to debug? 

Failing to define your customers means everyone is a customer. And when spread peanut butter thin across the enterprise, the everyone-is-a-customer strategy means you’re going to be a lousy IT department for everyone. 

As for products – does Dell currently ship laptops with CD players? Does Apple still make iPods? Of course not. Old products give way to new ones, and the strategy for which products to support requires a roadmap. Stop thinking in terms of IT projects, and start managing business value in terms of IT products. 

5. Not Prioritizing Your Work and Intake Process

Ah, the intoxicating allure of chaos! In 2024, IT departments will continue to dance to the erratic rhythm of unmanaged work intake and prioritize tasks using the age-old method of “eeny, meeny, miny, moe.” After all, who needs structure when you can have the thrill of unpredictability?

Get your PMO house in order! This starts with an intake process and a formal project portfolio. Even if the business can’t agree on how to prioritize work, IT itself can lead the way by devising a strategy leveraging a formula of its own. Don’t forget to balance your portfolio between business projects, IT projects, and KTLO.  

So there you have it, dear CIOs – a glimpse into the delightful world of IT departments in 2024. Who needs progress and innovation when you can have the timeless charm of doing things the way they’ve always been done? Cheers to another year of IT brilliance! Or, you know, whatever works.