“Enterprises must learn how to be less dependent on the shrinking number of folks who are well versed in the applications running the business like COBOL, PowerBuilder, and Oracle Forms,” … “Most CIOs won’t admit it, but not only do many of them not know how these applications work, they don’t know if these applications work. All they know is they’ve got 30 million lines of COBOL code and no COBOL programmers, institutional knowledge, or documentation. They need to go in and liberate their intellectual property from the bowels of legacy systems.”
Does that strike a chord? It’s a quite taken from a post on InfoWorld entitled 7 things IT should be doing which talks about a number of problems organisations face today and gives some advice as to how companies should be dealing with them. Here are the main points:
- Follow your users: Find out what your users really do in their day job. Share their pain and let them help you tailor what you’re offering them.
- Embrace Web 2.0: Your users have high standards as to what applications are supposed to do nowadays. Letting them down will alienate them.
- Tame the data monster: Bad data means that people can’t do their job effectively. Make data cleansing one of your top priorities.
- Flirt with disaster: Disaster planning is only the first step of making sure you can cope with foreseeable problems. Make sure they’re tested and up to date.
- Capture old knowledge: Use toolkits like ITIL to capture and store old knowledge. ITIL Mangement will be a key differentiator for you in the future.
- Plug data leaks: If you don’t have a data security policy and don’t police it, your data could end up in the wrong hands. Make sure you know what needs to be protected and what doesn’t.
- Follow the money: Senior management in the IT department need to have more than a basic grasp of the business drivers of the company. This will help the whole department function effectively.