This article from ITWorld Canada by Vawn Himmelsbach which discusses some of the issues of bringing enterprise 2.0 to an unprepared workforce, includes a statement that caught my eye.
Many organizations believe the IT department should be responsible for deploying Web 2.0, when, really, the IT department should be responsible for helping to pick, and then maintain, the right tools – but not necessarily defining the business case or driving their use.
I agree with the second part (strongly) – the IT department should NOT be responsible for defining the business case. Or promoting it’s use even though they can and should be recipients of the collaborative services web 2.0 offers. The real drivers should come from the business side of the organization. The grass roots – customers, employees, sales, HR, marketing and even the executive suite are the drivers. Many IT departments are staffed and managed by hardworking and brilliant people and the IT department should sit at the table and offer advice on some of the technologies involved and how they integrate into existing environments.
The problem with giving them something new to implement and maintain and control is that most IT departments are overwhelmed with maintaining existing systems. They don’t have time to devote to something new. Let the IT folks do what they do best – keep the lights on by ensuring that computers, systems and networks they already have in place, work and keep on working. Web 2.0 is not just another technology – it is a new way to communicate, collaborate, carry on conversations and conduct business. Letting the IT department steer the web 2.0 ship will put it on the rocks before it gains momentum in the organization.
If you are an executive who wants to kill web 2.0 in your organization, then give it to the IT department and the legal department and ask them to make a go of it. It will be dead and buried by lunch time.