Telltale signs of IT dysfunction — and how to fix it

Transformational success can be derailed by a dysfunctional IT culture, the roots of which often can be traced to silos, org structures and little desire or incentive to collaborate.

Telltale signs of IT dysfunction — and how to fix them
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The role of IT is evolving, and digital transformation has brought with it a new set of responsibilities and assumptions that can lead to IT dysfunction. An explosion of new initiatives, the need to produce more quickly, constant interaction with the business, managing third-party cloud environments instead of traditional data centers — with so much coming at IT these days, it’s little wonder that organizational tensions and challenges are rising.

Despite the focus on technology, some industry analysts say the root of today’s dysfunction can be traced to lingering silos in the business, organizational structures that measure performance vertically instead of horizontally, and an unwillingness to collaborate, which is fundamental to a corporate-wide, shared digital strategy. Many organizations choose to simply cooperate, says Troy DuMoulin, vice president of research and development at Pink Elephant, a global IT change management training and consulting firm.

“Collaborate means that you and I have shared goals, shared values, methods and measures for which we hold each other accountable. To cooperate doesn’t mean any of those things,” DuMoulin says. “Our culture of siloed thinking really focuses on cooperating as the best scenario. Collaboration is not in the distance. Our structures, our incentives, our performance management structures — they orient people to take care of their own teams.”

CIOs and industry analysts weigh in on these and other telltale signs of IT dysfunction, and offer advice on how to fix these issues before they derail transformative initiatives.

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