Complexity & IT

Complexity & ITRay Ozzie is leaving Microsoft.

After it was announced that he was leaving, he published a memo on his blog. The memo, titled Dawn of  a New Day,  is an excellent read. In fact, I’m in awe of people who can write like Mr. Ozzie can.

While reading through the memo (yes…I read the whole thing)…i hit upon this nugget:

Complexity kills. Complexity sucks the life out of users, developers and IT.  Complexity makes products difficult to plan, build, test and use.  Complexity introduces security challenges.  Complexity causes administrator frustration.

Powerful stuff.

I think those five sentences fully explain the state of IT today. And…they thoroughly explain the basis for the hatred (or at least dislike) that most people within organizations have toward IT.

We’ve built a world within IT that enjoys complexity.  We’ve built a group that thrives on complexity.    But…that complexity is killing organizations.

That complexity is why Shadow IT exists. That complexity is why many groups within modern day organizations are driving hard toward a time when they own / manage their own technology platforms.  Scott Brinker is making a very good argument for Why Marketing Should Run its own Technology.  Mitch Joel is pointing at Technology is being a major part of the Agency of the Future…but I don’t see a CIO in that agency (and that’s not a bad thing).

Complexity does kill….and is killing the IT group.

What can we do to move towards a more simplistic approach to IT?

The answer to that question will determine The Future of IT.

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Eric D. BrownShim MaromMichelle Hartlen,PMPBjoern LinderBas de Baar Recent comment authors
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jfbauer
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Eric,

Can you clarify your definition of “complexity in IT”? Is this complexity from an end user interaction perspective or is it complexity inherent in the IT systems IT delivers to the end user?

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Complexity & IT http://bit.ly/dBgHck #cio #It

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RT @ericdbrown: Complexity & IT http://bit.ly/dBgHck #cio #It

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Complexity & IT http://restwrx.com/d5RR8T via @EricDBrown

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#baot Reading: Complexity & IT http://ht.ly/19GmdR

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IT often embraces complexity, which may just be its undoing. RT @ericdbrown Complexity and IT http://bit.ly/dBgHck #cio #It

Shim Marom
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Hi Eric, can’t agree more. We’re immersed so deeply in this complex web of complex processes and methodologies without realizing that the last thing they contribute to is quality. I’ve attempted to address this issue in a number of articles on my blog, the last of which (see http://quantmleap.com/blog/2010/10/quote-of-the-day-more-on-too-much-process/) was one where I brought a quote from an address by Vivek Kundra (the person charged with the strategic direction of IT coordination across the entire federal U.S. government). And this is what he had to say: “The government has created a culture where process continues to trump outcomes”. Pretty powerful… Read more »

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RT @ericdbrown: Complexity & IT http://bit.ly/dBgHck #cio #It

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Complexity & IT: Ray Ozzie is leaving Microsoft.
After it was announced that he was leaving, he published a memo o… http://bit.ly/aj6HQw

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[…] with too much processes, I’ve come across a beautiful post by Eric D. Brown titled “Complexity & IT“. Eric has been diligent enough to read through a rather long memo published by Ray Ozzie […]

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Shared: Complexity & IT http://bit.ly/a0bJc8

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RT @projectshrink: Shared: Complexity & IT http://bit.ly/a0bJc8

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@ericdbrown Complexity & IT: http://ow.ly/346ys | So true. Over engineering kills most functions & methodologies.
#pmot #PMP #BPM #IT

Shim Marom
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Hi Eric, you might wish to provide your perspective on a comment given by Patrick Richard in http://quantmleap.com/blog/2010/11/more-on-the-topic-of-complex-it-processes/ (where I’ve made a reference to your article above).

I wonder what your view on this issue is.

Cheers, Shim.

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