Tear Down This Wall!

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Berlin Wall. The wall is fortunately gone today, torn down as suggested by Ronald Reagan in 1987 with his famous words: Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

But today we have another bad wall, saying that an enterprise has two parts: Business and IT.

I disagree. So do many other people as for example Michael Baylon in this blog post called Is IT part of the business?

Yes, IT is part of the business. Tear down this wall!

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4 thoughts on “Tear Down This Wall!

  1. Tirthankar Ghosh 13th August 2011 / 19:53

    Absolutely. IT has no meaning by itself. Unless business has demands i.e. requirements, IT has no function. It is completely dependent on business. While IT is direction-less unless guided by business, business, on the other hand, gets the necessary support from IT.

  2. Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 14th August 2011 / 06:43

    Thanks for commenting Tirthankar. Indeed, IT was made to support business and is an integral part of business today.

    The need for tearing down the wall between IT and business was also pondered by Jim Harris with the same analogy in a blog post from last year here.

    Jim’s post also references a post by Winston Chen called Isn’t IT a Part of “the Business”?. In here Winston says:

    “The word “business” also became the modifier for any word that’s important: “business value”, assuming that there’s another kind of value; “business objectives”, assuming that there’s another kind of objectives worth pursuing.”

    We must emphasize on not making walls between IT and business but think of IT as part of the business.

  3. Tirthankar Ghosh 14th August 2011 / 21:35

    Well…on a second thought, I see a distinct line of demarcation between business and IT.

    Earlier, I commented that IT has no meaning by itself. I take back my words.

    Let me draw an analogy from the relation between mathematics and other fields of science & technology. On the one hand, mathematics is just a tool that supports scientific studies.

    But on the other hand, mathematics is not just complete, it is beautiful by itself.

    Perhaps the beauty of the identity e^(i*pi)=-1 cannot be understood if we consider mathematics to be just a set of tools that supports our scientific studies.

    In that sense, IT is has meaning outside business too. I do not have the eyes to appreciate its beauty outside business world. But that is probably my limitation.

  4. Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 15th August 2011 / 06:49

    Thanks again Tirthankar.

    The beauty of IT is probably the reason why the wall between business and IT was built and sustained. Too many times projects have been driven by techno babble and affection for certain software brands.

    But as with the Berlin Wall it goes both ways. The official purpose of the Berlin Wall was to protect against western (fascist) aggression, but the actual use was incarceration of Eastern citizens.

    The answer to techno babble and brand affection isn’t to look at an enterprise as having two parts. It is collaboration and an increased number of people with both business and IT skills.

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