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Management Science Seminar

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Wednesday 4 March 2009, 13:00
LT4, Management School

Why enforcing IT strategy and standards compliance can't work in today's complex business environment and how it could be made to work

Eugen Oetringer, Dipl.-Math. (FH)

EDS, an HP Company

Abstract: While the Information Technology (IT) industry has delivered enormous benefits over the recent decades, more recently IT projects have suffered from high project failure rates. Methods and best practices that delivered good results before now often fail to deliver the expected results. In 2008, in particular, industry experts pointed to the need for fundamental changes in the fields of processes, project management, IT strategies, standards and compliance. Specifically, it became apparent that processes and decision making collided with business realities.

Based on our industry experience, we performed a root cause analysis. In our discussions, special care was taken to diverge from traditional industry solution approaches. Instead of splitting the complex environment into supposedly manageable parts, the whole was addressed as a single, complex and dynamic system. A solution proposal was developed and published as The IT Strategy Management Process.

Six root causes (too many repositories; poor documentation quality; lack of process between development and production; information overload; cultural differences; lack of strategic investment) and 42 underlying issues were identified. We find that only a few issues are sufficient to create enormous obstacles for any strategy/standards/compliance effort in larger IT organizations and, we expect, beyond IT. First, we describe why the six root causes must be addressed to make compliance work. Second, we describe how partial solutions can and will become counterproductive to the intended IT strategy or standards effort. Third, through an illustration of the IT Strategy Management Process, we propose how the identified six root causes can be simultaneously overcome in practice. 

Biography : Eugen Oetringer is a Managing Consultant within EDS, an HP company, where he provides advice and innovative solutions in the fields of strategy management, lessons learned, cultural diversity, processes and complexity. Eugen has 23 years of experience in the information technology (IT) industry with specific focus on computer operations, IT architectures, IT strategies and standards, process architectures, innovation, information management and project management. He has worked 14 years in international projects and is the author of The IT Strategy Management Process. Eugen has presented the root causes and the IT Strategy Management Process at multiple conferences of the IT industry.
Mr. Oetringer was born in Germany and lives in The Netherlands. He holds a degree of Diplom Mathematiker of Fachhochschule Giessen-Friedberg, Germany.

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