HBR – Executives Get the IT They Deserve

Here’s a concise article on why enterprise IT is so different from consumer IT. Business leaders, what’s your next move?

Many executives pine for their internal IT systems to give them a more consumer-friendly experience. They point to the simplicity, ease of use, and hassle-free nature of the digital services they use in their personal lives: the apps on their smart phone that make services available at the push of a button, software that can be installed and configured with the click of an icon, the ability to plug a printer into a laptop’s USB port and have it ready to print, a tablet that can be connected to the internet without any cautionary pop-ups warning about potential security risks or possible compatibility problems.

In the consumer IT world everything just seems to work, they lament. Why does corporate IT make things so complicated?

Unfortunately, most executives don’t recognize that consumer IT and enterprise IT are different animals. They don’t understand that they must play the pivotal role in the critical decisions that shape enterprise IT — decisions that they leave to the likes of Yahoo, Apple, Google, and Vodafone in the consumer world.

In the consumer world, all digital services are vanilla versions. Sometimes, you can opt for either cheaper or more expensive versions with less or more functionality. But as a customer, you have no input into what is offered; you either take it or leave it.

More of the Harvard Business Review post from Joe Peppard


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