Emerging Tech

Who decides priority of IT initiatives in your company?

Picture this if you will. A busy four-lane street in the middle of an industrial park. Traffic in the southbound lanes is at a standstill as a duck and her 10 babies slowly make their way across. (Considering that I am barraged on a daily basis with business jargon, I could go for the easy pun here and say that that one was young lady who had her ducks in a row. But I will refrain.)

So anyway, since ducks basically have two speeds--not moving at all and waddling--this particular migration was taking a while. What was interesting was how different motorists reacted. You had your "Awww, they're so cute" people (me) and you had your impatient, horn-honking drivers. (Note: Horn honking SO doesn't work for birds. Waterfowl trumps impatience.)

OK, so because I'm sleep-deprived, this started me thinking about goals (in this case, getting to work) and how things beyond your control can slow progress toward that goal (like a fertile duck). It is actually no different in the business world. If you have business goals that require development resources, they have to get in the queue along with everyone else's. If your goal is triaged lower in the queue than the others, then you have no choice but to wait.

The variable in the corporate situation, though, is who does the triaging on business initiatives? In a large environment, does the manager of a particular IT department make the ranking decisions? The CIO? The CEO? It seems to me therein lies the problem. I would think that the IT manager, because of the necessary focus on his own group's acitivities, may not always have all of the business info needed to make the right judgment call on initiative priorities. The CEO probably doesn't have the knowledge of IT to know what initiatives can be pushed through quickly and which will need more time and resources. It makes sense that the CIO should bear this responsibility. Is that the case in your organization?

If you work for a smaller outfit, who does the prioritizing of IT initiatives there?


Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.


The problem in all enterprises are old directors and some many young?s that do not want and do not understand changes in I.T. Some old ones that thinks that they are good knowledge of I.T. too are the problem. Last ones are the worsted, they think better that all the informatics on the enterprise!!! They are not prepared for new technologies and talk about computers, PDA, Blackberries terminals, Mail system, storage devices, thin clients, etc.. like a shit!!!!. They are the problem, they do not understand inversions, they do not want to buy computers every 4 years, serves, U.P.S., routers, firewall, licenses, etc? They do not understand know how of it departments. When new blood, with knowledge of it arrive to the enterprises, this enterprises take of to new wins, new perspective more efficiencies and best performance of the workers!!!


Youthful exuberance seems to assume that people who have worked with technology for any length of time don't understand it anymore. It seems to me that there are other reasons than being old means being uninformed. New technology always offers the PROMISE of better results. However, as many "seasoned" professionals know, products do not always deliver on that promise. Early adopters of MS Exchange in large organizations went through several years of misery before the product stabilized. For a period of time, Oracle database products were not reliable. Early adopters of IBM Token Ring paid high prices ($800) per network adapter) that were replace by (


You know, I work for a smaller company, and IT prioritizing is non existent. As it is, I am officially the Administrative Assistant to the CEO, the CFO, and the Secretary/Treasurer, and unofficially the "IT Guy". For some reason or other, our companies view on IT is, "If it works, then it's good enough", even if it's been outdated for a century. So as far as IT prioritizing goes, it's not even a term that would be recognized around here.

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