Welcome to TransAccel’s inaugural blog! I’ve been eagerly anticipating the opportunity to talk to you about what I see as the biggest challenges facing IT and business today. To stimulate my thinking around the new adventure of blogging, I’ve been reflecting on the many years my colleagues and I have strategized, innovated, and just generally cleaned up messes. You have your stories too. This is the place to share them, and we hope you do.

Over the next few months members of my team and I will be writing about:

  • IT Maturity
  • Capacity for Change
  • Operational Effectiveness
  • Measurement and Metrics
  • Governance
  • Portfolio Management
  • Change Management
  • Leadership and Organization Development
  • Vendor/Service management
  • Communities of Practices
  • Innovation (my personal favorite)

Where to start? For me it all begins with a good understanding of who you are, where you are, and where you would like to be. And, just as an annual physical exam uncovers potential health issues, we insist on a “IT Health Check” too. After all, how can we know what remedial measures to take without an initial assessment?

Now, it seems pretty obvious that getting an annual check-up is smart and generally contributes to better health, right? Well, how many IT organizations put off a yearly exam and try to self diagnose? Worse yet, how many IT organizations have never even had an exam—you know, an independent review of how they operate? Interestingly, when we do a “Health Check,” we find that most IT organizations today are similar in two respects.

First—and to the seeming surprise of Business—IT is made up of human beings who have the same issues as everyone else: lack of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, inattention to detail, and indifference towards results. Having been in the business some 30 years I can tell you without question that these “soft” skills are just as important as “tech” skills to the success of IT initiatives and operational effectiveness.

Second, today IT stands poised at a crossroad. On the one side are the Business demands: compliance with internal and external regulations, security of information and assets, maintenance of IT architectural integrity and stability, and the delivery of innovative technology. On the other side are the obstacles to fulfillment: a rapidly changing workforce, a lack of leadership expertise, budgetary restraints, the shifting of non-core activities to external resourcing partners, and the fact that every department can make individual hardware and software decisions. The resulting tension and stress on IT cannot be overstated.

Considering these problems along with the scant resources spent on infrastructure, i.e., leadership and management training and development (that soft skills stuff I mentioned earlier), it is no surprise to me that most IT organizations are running full bore and still unable to meet the myriad Business objectives. We refer to this phenomenon as “no capacity to change,” and it is this very inability that is misconstrued as a lackluster attitude toward innovation, the very “innovation” that is supposed to save our beleaguered economy.

The challenges facing IT are complex; I won’t deny that. But they are not insurmountable. And, because this is my first blog, I feel compelled to tell you how deeply committed I am to helping IT employees and organizations work differently and maturely so that every individual and organization as a whole can deliver its very best. I want to give them the tools to work in new ways that are uplifting and rewarding. But most of all, I am determined to help IT gain the capacity to change and to attain its rightful place at the center of business driving innovation. By the way, this is what our consulting firm is all about.

Please check in from time to time. I’ll be here sharing my thoughts and specific ideas about specific issues—it would be great to hear from you too. For now, my parting thought is this: Get checked-out sooner rather than later so that you and your organization can begin to focus on innovation. After all, we have an economy to save.