2015: Note: the piece that Dux originally wrote (and to which this post is a response to) doesn’t exist any more. I am unable to find it anywhere on the internet (even WayBackMachine doesn’t have a copy)…
In a recent post, Dux Raymond Sy (@MeetDux) discussed that with the increased use of SharePoint by the “Business” (i.e. Business user identifying value in having a SharePoint site/portal), the traditional IT support department’s role will change.
He believes that the IT department’s role will become more “consultative”, and work with the business to build solutions, rather than just offering typical “typical break-fix (and install – MjO) assistance”
Dux is someone that I respect. I have attended some of his webinars and have read (OK – I’m reading) his SharePoint for Project Management book. He really knows his stuff.
Even though what he describes sounds logical, I don’t think that it will happen.
To really supply a “solution” you really have to understand the business. The traditional IT department contains people who understand technology. And that’s very valuable.
However, to really understand “the business” requires working in “the business”. And even then each business “entity” (department, group, division) has its own business processes. To really understand these processes takes time. It requires talking with representatives from “the business”.
And this takes time. And there will still be many urgent things that need getting fixed, installed, maintained, backed up, restored, etc.
I am of the (humble) opinion that there is still a need for another layer (albeit, a thin one) between “the business” and “IT”. This is a layer that is able to spend that time with the business to understand their requirements, and to build the solutions. And to work with “IT” to ensure that the infrastructure for doing this is available.
Dux’s Post: How do you see IT Orgs role changing as SharePoint is becoming a business enablement platform?
Hi, Mark –
I appreciate your response and I agree with your assessment especially where SharePoint is today and the level of maturity (or immaturity) of its’ usage. Definitely a layer between IT and the business (which I call a SP analyst) is necessary to be successful.
What I was asking about is fast forward 2-3 years from now – if the assumption is that SP will enable/empower the business, the old model of relying on IT to build all solutions for the business should be history. I can see IT still building complex solutions, but for basic business solutions (ie conference room scheduling system, expense reimbursement system, etc), ideally the business should be able to do it themselves with OOB tools available in SP. IT doesn’t have to be involved at the business level for these types of solutions.
An issue with this scenario is that the business is not ‘trained’ to build solutions. They may know the technical capabilities of SP but won’t have any insights into best practices, process, techniques, etc. So I suspect what’s going to happen is that the business will ‘request’ support from IT but not necessarily asking IT to build it. They would seek guidance/advice into what’s the best way to go about by doing it and have the business go at it. This is where the consultative role of IT comes in.
I think it will be critical for IT to somehow educate/train the business with a ‘lite’ solutions development process.
Thanks again for taking the time to respond and I hope this clarifies my question.