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Gartner: 16 long-held IT business practices you need to kill

Eliminate CEO/CIO differences; abolish tech support, eliminate mega-projects just a few practices that need to go, Gartner says

By , Network World
October 19, 2011 12:05 PM ET

Network World - ORLANDO -- With CIO budgets heading for their 11th consecutive year of growing at 3% or less, it's time to offer up some sacred cows for sacrifice.

That was the sentiment at a Gartner Symposium/ITxpo session today that outlined a number of ways IT can get out of its comfort zone and look for new ways to handle the explosion of information, collaboration and mobility.

"IT needs to free up time money and resources to get into this brave new world," said Ken McGee, vice president and research analyst at Gartner.

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McGee offered 16 IT business practices that need to be killed. "You may not need all 16 but maybe one would get you pointed in the right direction," he said.

The short list of targeted items includes:

1. Stop recommending mega projects

2 .Eliminate differences between CIO/CEO projects

3. Terminate projects that do not improve the income statement

4. Abandon CIO priorities that don't support CEO priorities

5. Stop recommending mega projects part II,  rather than requesting wholesale funding for "business
applications" or the "technical infrastructure," clients must state in clear, concise and nonthreatening terms the
consequences of austere funding.

6. Terminate existing apps that do not yield measurable business value

7. End the practice of putting the enterprise IT spending within the CIO budget

8. Abolish environment of little or no IT spending accountability

9. Eliminate IT caused business model disruption surprises

10. Kill cloud-a-phobia

11. Abandon level 1,2,3 tech support

12. Kill chargeback systems

13. Stop issuing competitive bids

14. Stop holding onto unfunded projects. Stop IT hoarders

15. End discrimination against behavioral skills around social sciences

16. End unbalanced support between back and front office

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McGee went on to expand on the list with a number of facts and suggestions from Gartner research including:

Applications:

• Decommission 10% of applications by year-end 2012 and 20% by year-end 2014. Reducing operating expenses via decommissioning existing but unsponsored applications will be the richest source of new project funding during the next few years.

• Identify three applications to migrate to cloud services. Services with higher competitive value, such as core corporate processes and transactional services, will take longer to reach the cloud and the mainstream. The reason for a longer uptake into the cloud for pointed business-oriented services is that these will require a high degree of trust between the providers of these services and their potential business customers. These services will also require a certain degree of security and robustness that is just now becoming viable for Internet-based computing, McGee said.

• Impose a three-year moratorium on all IT-proposed projects exceeding $500,000 and/or requiring more than one year to implement.

IT's operations:

• Revamp tech support. McGee said oversized tech support groups are like carbon monoxide, odorless, colorless but can kill. Unless abandoned, Tier 1, 2 and 3 tech support structures will continue undermining the success of delivering "new projects" by perpetually interrupting developers to solve outages occurring in already deployed systems. Once a product has been built by the "factory," an entirely separate group of people become responsible for maintenance without interrupting those in the factory" working on building new products.

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