The Business-Technology Weave

Sep 15 2010   6:19AM GMT

Business-Technology Convergence vs. a Business-Technology Weave



Posted by: David Scott
Tags:
business planning
business-IT alignment
business-IT convergence
business-technology weave
IT planning
IT support
IT support to business

 

Ah, it’s so gratifying when thought leaders catch up to something you’ve known and espoused for 5 or more years.

There’s a very interesting, and quite good, article that I stumbled upon:  Living Up to Technology’s Promise.

The article is well worth reading and I enjoyed it.  However, I do take some issue with the idea of their “business-technology convergence” concept.  Business and technology have not converged – they have become interwoven:  There is a weave of business and technology. 

You may well ask:  Convergence…. Weave – what’s the difference?  The difference is both subtle and stark.  Convergence is a uniting and joining, but there’s an implication that if a convergence never happened, or if there was a disengagement, either side would survive – at worst, there’d be a missed opportunity for efficiencies and advance of mutual interests.

However, kick out a business’ technical enablements, and it might sustain 5% productivity – if you’re lucky.  (Note:  I’m speaking  of the kind of businesses that the article targets).  Therefore, there is a mutual survival at stake here:  Business and technology are woven together – and the sooner any business and allied technology element(s) understand this interwoven relationship, the better.

But the “convergence” article excited me.  I’ve read very little elsewhere that approaches an understanding regarding the  modern – and accelerating evolution of – empowerments and vulnerabilities in the business-technology relationship. 

Today I’d like to say:  Don’t converge:  Weave.  As but one recent example from this blog:  Security is every person’s business in the organization.  Every person is a stakeholder and must be a mini-security officer.  That is, they must view every action and activity through security’s prism.  Technology – the IT  department – must emplace the technical protections – and lead business; bringing awareness, updates, and education regarding proper activity, to the table.  That is weaving business’ awareness,  ownership, and appropriate doing, into technical and related business security.

Recognize that The BTW does not attempt to make Business and IT one unit, nor does it attempt to overlap discreet duties, talents, and highly specified jobs beyond a point of diminishing returns.  Rather, it weaves the common organizational appreciations for the main levers and liabilities, so that everyone brings the proper use, awareness and activity to the shared stakeholder elements. 

That is a weave, and that is how you will thwart threats to today’s example – security:  unauthorized access; data breach and theft; ID theft; exposures, impacts to business reputation, impacts to trust, and so on. 

If there’s enough interest in this subtle yet powerful difference between convergence and the Weave, we can examine it against other areas in the coming days; Budget comes immediately to mind.

September 15th:  On this day in 1904 Wilbur Wright makes his 1st airplane flight.

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