The Evolution of Open Teams in IT

Democracy and transparency are coming to IT, and in a big way. Slowly but surely, people are realizing that teamwork and open communication are more effective than command-and-control and lone wolves. In an article for the Enterprisers Project, Mike Kelly traces the history of the open mentality in IT and what it means for CIOs.

A Wider Opening

As Kelly explains it, once upon a time in IT, “openness” referred to extremely technical people sharing their expertise on extremely technical subjects, because these were the first days of businesses regularly interacting with computers. The big challenge of tech workers in these days was just getting technology to work right.

In the late ‘80s and ‘90s, the commoditization of IT solutions began. Then the IT role became about being able to integrate hardware and software solutions for the business’s purposes. Kelly says that the question of IT shifted here from, “Does it work?” to “Is it efficient?”

In the modern day, IT has no choice but to be open about what it is doing, because digital transformation is at the forefront of everything businesses are doing. Kelly says this about openness:

The most successful IT teams are those that are open – that not only share knowledge and work inclusively, as their predecessors did, but also understand the value of transparent, portable, and plentiful data available to them from inside and outside the organization. Today’s CIO is therefore much more like a Chief Innovation Officer – a catalyst for ideas that can drive the business, someone who looks at a digital technology and asks: “Is it defining?” Is it providing the kind of valuable insights the organization needs to set its direction and make its most difficult decisions?

This means IT is a proactive force for the business now, as opposed to a reactive one, and it is time for IT to changes the questions it asks accordingly.

For further thoughts on this subject, you can view the original article here:

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