In order to counter the destabilizing forces of rapid technology change, the following options must be carefully considered:
- IT organizations must implement formal IT governance programs. Frameworks such as COBIT®, ITIL®, and CMMI can be used to drive a culture of mature practices across the organization. These frameworks provide solid foundations and are timeless with broad applicability.
- IT organizations must carefully weigh the destabilizing effects of rapid technology adoption. Slowing down this adoption cycle can enable greater expertise with products and allow for a stronger process focus.
- IT organizations must consider process maturity skills as a major hiring factor along with technology specific credentials.
- IT professional organizations need to define well accepted accreditations in the IT Governance space. These accreditations need to supplant the vendor driven accreditations (e.g. MCSE) as the "Good Housekeeping" seal for IT professionals.
- Academia must incorporate a process focus in their technology curriculums. While technology specific courses (e.g. JAVA programming) have a limited shelf life, courses stressing fundamental process disciplines will provide a solid grounding for the individual that will last the student for a career and clearly benefit employers.
Today's organizations need to get back on track in terms of a focus on processes and process improvement. Today's regulatory environment and investors are demanding more and more from IT that absolutely require process and control disciplines. To this end, organizations must hire and retain employees based not just on technical skills, but process skills as well. IT tools will come and go, but the processes learned along the way provide the real value.
This article was developed through contributions to the IT Process Institute (ITPI). The ITPI, a not for profit organization, is engaged in three principle areas of activity: research, benchmarking and the development of prescriptive guidance for practitioners and business executives. For more information, please visit their website.