IT Agility: Tell Us Why

Andrew Froehlich, Network Engineer & IT Consultant | 6/28/2012 | 36 comments

Andrew Froehlich
Technology is becoming increasingly agile as it allows companies to pivot to meet market demands faster than ever before. Unfortunately, you may not be able to say the same for your IT staff. Despite working with constantly changing technology, you'd be surprised about just how inflexible some IT staff are. And that's becoming a major problem for CIOs.

Forbes recently ran an article titled "Agility: The Ingredient That Will Define Next Generation Leadership." In it, the article discusses "accelerating rates of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity." And the ideal leader would be someone that can efficiently change and evolve the organization. So much of being successful in today's business environment is being able to get to the market before competitors to gain that first-mover advantage. When you build up a company that has momentum in one direction, it takes a great deal of effort and motivation to steer it in another. Especially when changes directly impact the skill sets of current employees. When IT staff are asked to get outside of their technical comfort zone, management starts to feel the push back. That push back can cause significant problems when trying to move to emerging markets.

But CIOs aren't even close to being off the hook. The very day after the agility in leadership article was published, Forbes posted another article titled "Trust In Business Falls Off A Cliff." This article discussed the results of a survey that measured the level of trust employees have in their employers. According to the study, trust in leadership is at an all-time low. Some specific questions from the survey included questions regarding leadership effectiveness and constantly changing goals and timelines with little explanation.

So in a sense, a war is going on between employees and management regarding business agility. And the blame can only be placed at the foot of our business leaders. Clearly there is a communications gap that needs to be bridged before true agility can take place. Keep in mind that for many organizations, becoming agile is a brand new concept in many areas of the company. So where is the best place to look in an organization to get people on the road to becoming more agile? Believe it or not, it's probably your IT department.

Because IT staff is increasingly involved in technology that is built on flexible platforms, IT staff will by far be the easiest to bring on board to the new agile workplace. What's missing is the communications flow regarding the business vision being pushed down from the top. If CIOs were to become better evangelists regarding the benefits of an agile environment and how it would benefit everyone, they'd probably be surprised about just how easily people would buy in to the concept. We in IT don't mind being flexible, we just want a logical reason why we should be.

View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
Page 1 / 4   >   >>
tjgkg   IT Agility: Tell Us Why   8/2/2012 9:54:40 AM
re: IT Agility: Tell Us Why
I think workers are afraid everywhere, but they will have to overcome that if they want change. I am surprised that so many workers are getting temp jobs in Canada. There was a report here in the US recently about how well Canadian workers and businesses were doing. They even said there were more millionaires in Canada than in the US.
batye   IT Agility: Tell Us Why   8/2/2012 9:47:53 AM
re: IT Agility: Tell Us Why
yes, but a lot of the times workers afraid, and in Canada at least 50% getting temporary IT jobs via employment agency's...- workers have no voice...
tjgkg   IT Agility: Tell Us Why   8/2/2012 9:44:47 AM
re: IT Agility: Tell Us Why
It will change. There are backlashes against outsourcing and with Linkedin and other networking sites, companies that treat people poorly are being named and shamed.
batye   IT Agility: Tell Us Why   8/1/2012 5:08:38 PM
re: IT Agility: Tell Us Why
me too, but  I hope one day thing will change... :)
tjgkg   IT Agility: Tell Us Why   8/1/2012 4:42:52 PM
re: IT Agility: Tell Us Why
Sad it is. Sorry to hear that.
batye   IT Agility: Tell Us Why   8/1/2012 7:45:08 AM
re: IT Agility: Tell Us Why
in Canada it normal way, and no one really cares - sad, sad, sad....
tjgkg   IT Agility: Tell Us Why   8/1/2012 6:03:16 AM
re: IT Agility: Tell Us Why
Companies today are really in the driver's seat because of the horrible economy. They make people go through hoops. It is almost sadistic.
batye   IT Agility: Tell Us Why   7/3/2012 10:30:55 AM
re: IT Agility: Tell Us Why
yes, but the problems for the youth Co. requires exp. for the new technology on the market let say 6 months - but Co. ask for 2 years of hands on knowledge - from the new(younge) employee...
tjgkg   IT Agility: Tell Us Why   7/3/2012 10:20:11 AM
re: IT Agility: Tell Us Why

batye - the problem I think is our human nature to be in comfort zone... this days it more like sink or swim... New generation coping better with it...

Change, will never easy for a lot of people, is better handled by the young-regardless of the generation. When I was entering IT, I was introducing technology to folks who had none and they were scared that these "boxes" would replace their jobs. Young people take to new ideas better, but that does change as the generations grow older!

batye   IT Agility: Tell Us Why   7/3/2012 9:59:31 AM
re: IT Agility: Tell Us Why
the problem I think is our human nature to be in comfort zone... this days it more like sink or swim... New generation coping better with it...
Page 1 / 4   >   >>

The blogs and comments posted on do not reflect the views of TechWeb,, or its sponsors., TechWeb, and its sponsors do not assume responsibility for any comments, claims, or opinions made by authors and bloggers. They are no substitute for your own research and should not be relied upon for trading or any other purpose.

More Blogs from Andrew Froehlich
Andrew Froehlich   5/6/2014   13 comments
Not all clouds are equal. That's a pretty obvious statement that we can all agree on. Cloud service providers offer differing levels of services, redundancy, and customer service -- all at ...
Andrew Froehlich   4/30/2014   10 comments
In order for enterprise employees to work together as one unified group, they must follow carefully written policies and procedures -- but every once in a while, you may find yourself in ...
Andrew Froehlich   4/22/2014   49 comments
For those of us who study enterprise IT security, last year's Target store hack turned out to be a fantastic case study that was loaded with lessons to learn.
Andrew Froehlich   4/16/2014   22 comments
With news that Google slashed the price of their big-data offering "Big Query" by up to 85 percent, one has to wonder if the move is to ward off competitors -- or simply that the ...
Andrew Froehlich   3/18/2014   27 comments
At a recent South By Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Edward Snowden said the NSA is "setting fire to the future of the Internet." In light of this, the World Wide Web ...
Latest Archived Broadcast
We talk with Bernard Golden about accelerating application delivery in the cloud.
On-demand Video with Chat
Register for this video discussion to learn how tablets can provide true business usability and productivity.
E2 IT Migration Zones
IT Migration Zone - UK
Why PowerShell Is Important
Reduce the Windows 8 Footprint for VDI
Rethinking Storage Management
IT Migration Zone - FR
SQL Server : 240 To de mémoire flash pour votre data warehouse
Quand Office vient booster les revenus Cloud et Android de Microsoft
Windows Phone : Nokia veut davantage d'applications (et les utilisateurs aussi)
IT Migration Zone - DE
Cloud Computing: Warum Unternehmen trotz NSA auf die „private“ Wolke setzen sollten
Cloud Computing bleibt Wachstumsmarkt – Windows Azure ist Vorreiter
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Enterprise Efficiency Twitter Feed
Site Moderators Wanted
Enterprise Efficiency is looking for engaged readers to moderate the message boards on this site. Engage in high-IQ conversations with IT industry leaders; earn kudos and perks. Interested? E-mail:
[email protected]
Dell's Efficiency Modeling Tool
The major problem facing the CIO is how to measure the effectiveness of the IT department. Learn how Dell’s Efficiency Modeling Tool gives the CIO two clear, powerful numbers: Efficiency Quotient and Impact Quotient. These numbers can be transforma¬tive not only to the department, but to the entire enterprise.

Read the full report
The State of Enterprise Efficiency in the Virtual Era: Virtualization – Smart Approaches to Maximize Gains
Virtualization is a presence in nearly all enterprise data centers. But not all companies are using it to its best effect. Learn the common characteristics of success, what barriers companies face, and how to get the most from your efforts.

Read the full report
Informed CIO: Dollars & Sense: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
Cut through the VDI hype and get the full picture -- including ROI and the impact on your Data Center -- to make an informed decision about your virtual desktop infrastructure deployments.

Read the full report
A Video Case Study – Translational Genomics Research Institute
e2 Video

On the Case
TGen IT: Where We're Going Next

7|11|12   |   08:12   |   10 comments

Now that TGen has broken new ground in genomic research by using Dell's storage, cloud, and high-performance computing solutions, the company discusses what will come next for it and for personalized medicine.
On the Case
Better Care Through Better Communications

6|6|12   |   02:24   |   11 comments

The achievements of the TGen/Dell project could improve how all people receive healthcare, because they are creating ways to improve end-to-end communication of medical data.
On the Case
TGen IT: Where We Are Now

5|15|12   |   06:58   |   6 comments

TGen is breaking new ground in genomic research by using Dell's storage, cloud, and high-performance computing solutions.
On the Case
TGen IT: Where We Were

4|27|12   |   06:45   |   10 comments

The Translational Genomics Research Institute wanted to save lives, but its efforts were hobbled by immense computing challenges related to collecting, processing, sharing, and storing enormous amounts of data.
On the Case
1,200% Faster

4|18|12   |   02:27   |   12 comments

Through their partnership, Dell and TGen have increased the speed of TGen’s medical research by 1,200 percent.
On the Case
IT May Improve Children's Chances of Survival

4|17|12   |   02:12   |   8 comments

IT is helping medical researchers reach breakthroughs in a way and pace never seen before.
On the Case
Medical Advances in the Cloud

4|10|12   |   1:25   |   5 comments

TGen and Dell are pushing the boundaries of computing, and harnessing the power of the cloud to improve healthcare.
On the Case
TGen: Living the Mission

4|9|12   |   2:25   |   3 comments

TGen's CIO puts the organizational mission at the heart of everything the IT staff does.
On the Case
TGen Speeding Up Biomedical Research to Save More Lives

4|5|12   |   1:59   |   6 comments

The Translational Genomics Research Institute is revamping its computing to improve speed, storage, and collaboration – and, most importantly, to save lives.
On the Case
Computing Power Helping to Save Children's Lives

3|28|12   |   2:13   |   3 comments

The Translational Genomics Institute’s partnership with Dell is enabling them to treat kids with neuroblastoma more quickly and save more lives.
Tom Nolle
The Big Reason to Use Office

3|18|14   |   02:24   |   46 comments

Office and personal productivity tools come in a first-class and coach flavor set, but what makes the difference is primarily little things that most users won't encounter. What's the big issue in using something other than Office, and can you get around it?
E2 Editors
SPONSORED: Mobile Security — A Use Case

3|4|14   |   04:27   |   16 comments

New mobile security solutions can accommodate a wide array of needs, including those of a complex university environment.
Tom Nolle
Killing Net Neutrality Might Save You Money

1|16|14   |   2:13   |   16 comments

The DC Court of Appeals voided most of the Neutrality Order, and whatever it might mean for the Internet overall, it might mean better and cheaper Internet VPNs for businesses.
Tom Nolle
The Internet of Everythinguseful

1|10|14   |   2:18   |   19 comments

We really don't want an "Internet of Everything" but even building an Internet of Everythinguseful means setting some ground rules to insure there's value in the process and that costs and risks are minimized.
Tom Nolle
Maturing Google Chrome

12|30|13   |   2.18   |   25 comments

Google's Chrome OS has a lot of potential value and a lot of recent press, but it still needs something to make it more than a thin client. It needs cloud integration, it needs extended APIs via web services, and it needs to suck it up and support a hard drive.
Sara Peters
No More Cookie-Cutter IT

12|23|13   |   03.58   |   21 comments

Creating the right combination of technology, people, and processes for your IT organization is a lot like baking Christmas cookies.
Sara Peters
Smart Wigs Not a Smart Idea

12|5|13   |   3:01   |   46 comments

Sony is seeking a patent for wigs that contain computing devices.
Tom Nolle
Cloud in the Wild

12|4|13   |   02:23   |   15 comments

On a recent African trip I saw examples of the value of the cloud in developing nations, for educational and community development programs. We could build on this, but not only in developing economies, because these same programs are often under-supported even in first-world countries.
E2 Editors
SPONSORED: Is Malware Evading Your IPS?

11|18|13   |   03:16   |   4 comments

Intrusion prevention software is supposed to detect and block malware intrusions, but clever malware authors can evade your IPS in these five main ways.
Sara Peters
Where Have All the Mentors Gone?

9|27|13   |   3:15   |   38 comments

A good professional mentor can change your life for the better... but where do you find one?
Tom Nolle
SDN Wars & You Could Win

9|17|13   |   2:10   |   5 comments

VMware's debate with Cisco on SDN might finally create a fusion between an SDN view that's all about software and another that's all about network equipment. That would be good for every enterprise considering the cloud and SDN.
Ivan Schneider
The Future of the Smart Watch

9|12|13   |   3:19   |   39 comments

Wearing a bulky, oversized watch is good training for the next phase in wristwatches: the Internet-enabled, connected watch. Why the smartphone-tethered connected watch makes sense, plus Ivan demos an entirely new concept for the "smart watch."
Tom Nolle
Cutting Your Cloud Storage Costs

9|4|13   |   2:06   |   3 comments

Cloud storage costs are determined primarily by the rate at which files are changed and the possibility of concurrent access/update. If you can structure your storage use to optimize these factors you can cut costs, perhaps to zero.
Sara Peters
Do CIOs Need an IT Background?

8|29|13   |   2:11   |   23 comments

Most of the CIOs interviewed in the How to Become a CIO series did not start their careers as IT professionals. So is an IT background essential?
Ivan Schneider
The Internet Loves Birthdays

8|27|13   |   3:25   |   69 comments

The Internet has evolved into a machine for drumming up a chorus of "Happy Birthday" messages, from family, friends, friends of friends who you added on Facebook, random people that you circled on G+, and increasingly, automated bots. Enough already.