The gap between networks and applications lingers

* Few survey respondents work directly with applications providers

In a recent newsletter, we talked about how a company's business and functional managers see the value of IT as coming from applications and not from the network. We drew the conclusion that network organizations need to continually find ways to identify how the WAN adds value to the company's key applications.

In order to better understand how the organizational dynamics inside IT organizations do or do not enable a linkage between the network and the applications organizations, Webtorials recently surveyed 149 IT professionals. One of the questions that we asked the survey respondents was to identify the technologies that are included in their group's scope of work. We defined "group" as referring to their manager and all the people that report to him or her.

The vast majority of respondents (92%) indicated that their group is responsible for WANs, LANs, and metropolitan-area networks. However, when we added applications to the definition of group, the percentage of respondents who work in such a group plummeted to 27%. As a result, we concluded that in the great majority of instances, the task of planning and managing both networks and applications requires cooperation across multiple organizations.

We also asked the survey respondents to indicate their agreement or disagreement with a dozen statements about organizational dynamics. In the next two WAN newsletters, we will use those survey results to discuss the degree to which the IT organization is aligned with the company's business units, as well as the degree to which IT organizations plan, fund and manage IT holistically.


Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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