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The Great IT and Corporate Divide

Blog: All Things Workflow

I went to a BPM Trends seminar a few months back. It was filled with a lot of interesting information and if you want to find out more about how the BPM industry is segmented I highly recommend you drop by for a session. One of the most interesting and somewhat comical things that they said at the session was there was a list of the top concerns/issues from CEO’s and CTO’s. The lists were both very different with only one commonality. Both groups felt that the IT and Finance sides of the business did not work very well together. It got me thinking as to why that could be. Two possible reasons stood out.

One reason could be that there are simply not enough people in the world who have a good understanding of both skill sets. There is some much terminology today that either group could listen to a conversation the other group was having and not make any sense out of it. It is also very difficult to become and expert in both as many people would not seek to attend university for a period of between 10 and 15 years.

The other reason is perhaps the concept of what a business is differs greatly between the two camps and thus they have difficulty communicating. The IT person might view the business as a series of multi-directional interconnected people, systems and processes. To them the business is conceptually a network.

The CEO might view the business as a people and systems belonging to business units which are part of divisions which make up the company. In their mind reporting paths and org charts most clearly define what the business is. To them the business is conceptually a tree.

Please keep in mind that I am for the most part and IT person and I am approaching this from an IT bias.

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