Key take-aways from this year’s Forrester’s IT Forum

Last week, I attended Forrester’s IT Forum in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.  In looking back over my notes I wanted to share some of the highlights.  The first keynote started off with the resounding words:  “Never Waste a Good Crisis”.  Bobby Cameron, Vice President, Principal Analyst, Forrester  expanded on this notion it appeared that the main point is that during a crisis change tends to be accelerated which should allow those savvy IT organizations to address these key challenges:

•    How do I get leaner and reduce IT waste?
•    How do I protect and promote innovation?
•    How do I reshape my own role?
•    How do I measure and communicate value?

As I listened to the discussion and many of the sessions to follow, I learned that many of the analysts and attendees were becoming aligned with the idea that an Agile approach to application development will help on many of these fronts.  First, it will help IT get leaner and reduce waste by only delivering what the business needs while helping IT with business communication or alignment.  It was also pointed out that if organizations really embrace Agile and let teams be self directed, we should even break down some of the inefficiencies of big, inflexible architecture and allow teams to select the development tools, application stacks, etc to get their jobs done quickly with minimal cost / waste.  What a novel idea!

Bobby also discussed the importance of IT leaders really paying attention to IT Value.  The key point is that value is always perceived.  Some people see value in driving a Mercedes while others see it as a waste of money.  Thus for IT professionals we must make sure that the business sees value in what we deliver.  Thus, we must become more agile and deliver on business objectives in a way that facilitates communication and measures business value – the last key challenge in the list above.  As we all know, an Agile application development approach will dramatically lead to this outcome.

I found it interesting that Forrester’s analysis is showing that many traditional IT roles are being moved into the business – some of the examples given were project management and business analysis roles.

I am interested to hear if any of you are shifting some roles out of IT and into the business.

About the author

Mike Jones

Mike is a professed 'hater' of complexity. He has been in the IT industry since the mid 80's where he learned his technical skills at EDS and Texas Instruments. He believes there is a simpler way for IT professionals to deliver business value that requires a pragmatic mix of agile methods and application development tools.

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