Breaking through an open door

This is perhaps a road I have been down before for example lately in the post The Myth about a Myth.

But it is a pet peeve of mine.

Why are some people always reminding us that this and that must be seen in a business context?

Of course everything we do in our professional life within data quality, master data management, business intelligence and so on must be seen in a business context. Again, I have never seen any people taking the opposite stance.

I am aware that playing the “business context” card is a friendly reminder when say some people become too excited about a tool. But remember, every tool is originally made by people to solve a business challenge and if the tool continues to exist it has probably done that several times.

It may be that tools are over exposed in our business issue discussions due to that some people are doing their job:

  • Vendors are naturally pushing their tools – it’s a business issue
  • Analysts talks about tools and vendors – it’s a business issue
  • Conference organizers invites vendors to make sponsorships and tool exhibitions – it’s a business issue

But I don’t think you are breaking through anything when reminding anyone about the business context. Everyone knows that already.  Take it to the next level.

4 thoughts on “Breaking through an open door

  1. Jim Harris 5th April 2010 / 00:18

    Nicely said, Henrik.

    Nothing about any enterprise information initiative is either “all about technology” or “independent of a business context.” I too have never heard anyone say that either is true.

    Being reminded about the “business context” is about as empty as saying “data quality is important.”

    I agree that discussions need to rise above the obvious sound-bites in order to take it to the next level.

    Best Regards,


    P.S. Data quality is important — never forget the business context — and it is never all about the technology . . . oh no! “They” got to me too 🙂

  2. Vish Agashe 5th April 2010 / 05:29

    As usual, a thought provoking post. I agree with sentiments you are expressing about the need to take this conversation at next level.
    This day and age, after so many years of IT practice; there is really nothing “all about technology”. IT Organizations have matured, they are very well aware of how they are serving needs of business. Even then from time to time, we hear the reminders about “business context”….
    Well in all honesty, I have been there nagging my team with this. In my opinion, anytime throughout the project lifecycles or initiatives, when decisions are made without properly justifying business ROI, risks, Opportunities and Opportunity costs, rest of the organizations feel that IT is making decisions which are about technology rather than about business.
    While I agree with you that reminding about “business context” is hollow and everybody knows about it, I would argue that even today many IT leaders still do not appreciate the importance of backing up decisions (every single, not just high level) around technology/projects with business impact/ROI/Risks/Opportunities etc… I think it is the link between IT activities and its business impact which IT management constantly needs to highlight and keep on the forefront of discussion and soon nobody will remind about “business context” and the conversation will automatically be taken to the next level.

    Vish Agashe

  3. Phil Simon 5th April 2010 / 14:49

    It’s much like saying that “people matter” or “it’s all about execution.” In the immortal words of C. Montgomery Burns, “Duh.”

  4. Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 6th April 2010 / 10:45

    Thanks Jim, Vish and Phil for adding to this Easter rant.

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