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Who is the Rogue?

You may recall a recent posting where I raised the issue of business functions breaking away from corporate IT in order to obtain their own business applications, most notably a CRM platform that fits their requirements over the standardized system designed to fit a broader range of needs.

Since putting up that posting I ran across a blog site that has also elaborated on the situation, showing both sides of this thorny predicament. However, the author of that site has taken one step in the direction of IT that I cannot support. Stated directly is the recommendation that, although the business needs to have its requirements met, IT must have the final say. On this point I cannot disagree more.

Giving IT the final say on what application a business will use is the equivalent of giving HR the final say on the next recruit to be hired into that same business function. That would be preposterous. Wouldn’t it? Yes, absolutely. IT and HR are in place to serve the needs of the business, not the other way around. Everybody repeat that out loud a few times until it sinks in.

However, this can result in a battle waged in the name of control that can waste a lot of time and other resources. Very recently I advised a client smack dab in the middle of this conundrum to work with IT in a way that enabled them to believe that they had the final say. Was this manipulative? I prefer to think it was collaborative. And I would advise the IT people the same. Work this out in such a way as to get the IT standards met, but do it also in a way that lets the business believe they have the final say.


When the business has to go around IT and get its own CRM system, I do not think we should view this as rogue behavior. I believe we should look closely at what is going on in the IT organization and encourage some soul searching.

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