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What Sweet 16 Bracketology Looks Like For The IT Profession

It’s March Madness for the rest of us, but for IT, it’s year-round madness.

Their Sweet 16 tournament brackets reflect the opposing forces acting on IT, and what happens when you pit them against each other.

In the Security & Cloud region, 4 teams vie for the title. Team “Implement Better Security Policies” goes up against “Encourage BYOD and Mobility,” which always results in employees just doing whatever the heck they want and “going around IT.” Hence, we declare “Shadow IT” the winner of that match-up.

For the bout between Team “Maximize Applications & Infrastructure” and Team “Slashed Capital Budget,” we declare the winner to be “Put Applications In The Cloud,” since the cloud is usually the go-to man when companies want to take advantage of technology while paying as they go.

The only problem is, when “Shadow IT” and “Put Apps In The Cloud” combine, they create a distracted IT department that allows the company to “Become a great target for hackers.”

In the Resource Optimization region, you’ve got perennial IT contender “Do More” trying to overcome the other half of the dominant IT refrain, “With Less.” The result is a no-brainer…”Do More” ties “With Less,” with the winner being “Do Everything Half-Assed.

And in the constant work-life battle, “Go On A Date” valiantly struggles against “Planned Outages at 3 a.m. On Weekends,” but of course we know who wins: IT has “No Life Outside Of Work.”

And when “Half-Assed” meets “No Life” in the Elite 8, an “Overworked IT Staff” is the winner.

In the IT Strategy region, we’ve all heard the clarion call for IT to “Work on Strategic Initiatives,” instead of just hugging their servers. But with no one to hug them, servers get no love, which means that Team “Plow Through Trouble Tickets” is a real competitor for IT’s time. When these two behemoths get on the court, the overwhelming winner is “Fighting the Fires In Front Of You“…because those are the ones that burn you first.

The next duo reflects the predominance of Big Data in IT’s consciousness. But having data isn’t enough…you’ve got to have actionable information. That’s why “Manage, Share, and Monetize Data” is uppermost in many a CIO’s brain. But unfortunately, they’ve got to triumph first against “No Money For New Applications And Integration,” because traditionally, those efforts result in custom code, a raft of consultants, and months of waiting. So what happens? “No Business Intelligence” wins the day.

As for who gets to the Final Four from this region, with IT firefighting and not providing enough business intelligence, “IT Is Perceived As Not Strategic” becomes the incumbent favorite.

In the Talent Management region, we all know the constant tug-of-war between “Developing IT’s Skill Set” of existing staff and “Outsource or Go Offshore.” With technical salaries on the rise, more and more CIOs are finding themselves in a no-win situation, resulting in a “Constantly Shrinking Talent Pool” no matter what they do.

And in the age-old rivalry between stereotypical IT uniforms and business norms, Team “Wear T-shirts, Jeans, and Birkenstocks” gets defeated by “Be Taken Seriously By the LOB,” with the inevitable result that “IT Is Not Invited To The Table” for the important decisions about the business.

The representative in the Final Four from this region, given the constant search for talent to plug the gaps and the absence of IT from business discussions, is “IT Gets Sidelined.”

The Finals

If your company has an overworked IT staff going up against hackers, you’re going to have cyber insecurity, resulting in IT not being able to keep the business SAFE enough. If your company doesn’t see IT as strategic and sidelines them as “support staff” or “ancillary,” then IT won’t be able to advance the business forward FAST enough.

In the eternal IT conflict between SAFE and FAST, who wins? Who knows? Some IT departments will breed champions who will attempt to pull both off equally well. Others will become disillusioned in the contest and just be content to sit on the bench. Either way, the result is IT MADNESS!

SAFE vs. FAST…who wins in YOUR company?