DESI ONLINE SEMINAR
Ever since computers first came on the scene over sixty years ago, we've been assuming that companies need an "IT department." While the label attached to this organizational unit has changed over the years, it is widely accepted that, as with a delineated marketing or finance function, to be successful with technology companies need some sort of organizational unit dedicated to managing IT and overseeing all the associated staff. While this might have been appropriate when the role of IT was limited to automating routine tasks and processes, my research signals that having a dedicated organizational unit for IT actually holds a company back. There are a number of companies that are re-thinking their approach to IT, in particular, questioning the utility of having an IT unit in the first instance. What these organizations have in common is that they are challenging the fundamental assumptions that frame contemporary structures and practices about how to organize to harness the capabilities of technology. To this end, they are designing and implementing new organizing models for IT. Each also recognizes that they are in unchartered territory and need to invent new concepts and constructs and address issues of governance in novel ways. They are unanimous that there is as yet no playbook for success and are evolving their thinking as they assess the impact of the changes they are making in their organization. But distinct patterns and configurations are already emerging.
Professor Joe Peppard is Principal Research Scientist at MIT Sloan School of Management. He researches, teaches and consults in the domains of IT leadership, digital strategy and innovation, the execution of digital transformation programs, the creation of value from IT investments, and the role, structure and capabilities of the IT unit in contemporary organizations. In an environment where hype is all too commonplace, he seeks to help business and IT leaders navigate an appropriate route through what is an increasingly complex landscape. His research studies contemporary issues and challenges that mangers face in a world of accelerating technological change. Joe recognizes that managers want frameworks and models to help them understand their own predicaments, insights to figure out options and consequences, and clear actionable advice and guidance His most recent book (with John Ward) is The Strategic Management of Information Systems: Building a Digital Strategy (Wiley).