IT department holds Service management hostage

Managers in the Australian service sector, who are desperate to update their hopelessly inefficient business software, may be held for ransom by their IT departments. Due to something resembling ‘Stockholm syndrome’, managers are following directions from their IT departments, without questioning their motivation or their understanding of the revolution that has taken place in the business software sector. Some IT departments are making irrational demands, such as ‘it must be supplied by Microsoft’ and ‘it must be delivered via ‘the cloud’’. Any process to change business software should be driven by senior leaders who have a firm idea of the business objectives driving the change, not by those who may be irrationally defending obsolescent technology and redundant software solutions.


Deciding on the best ERP solution for your business is an unfair burden to place on the shoulders of your IT manager alone. You could end up limiting your growth and losing the chance to boost performance levels. You could pay too much money for a complex, high-maintenance system that staff find difficult or frustrating to use, or which may not actually perform crucial tasks well at all.

Faced with all of the responsibility and little understanding of the intimate workings of an ERP solution, IT Managers, can unintentionally make rash decisions based on emotion, not fact. They can, without knowing, champion over specified State-of-the-art systems with all the latest specifications. You could pay too much money for a complex, high-maintenance system that staff find difficult or frustrating to use, or which may not actually perform crucial tasks well at all.

You may be one of the lucky one’s, who’s IT Manager understands your business and knows your current system inside out. They may even have a reasonable idea of where the current system is letting you down or preventing you from achieving better performance. But they alone should not have to shoulder the full responsibility of choosing an ERP system that your organisation will probably have to work with for the next decade. If not the IT manager, then who is the best person? A senior business manager.

Any process to change business software should be driven by senior leaders who have a firm idea of the business objectives driving the change.  And yet it’s surprising how often IT manager are tasked with evaluating ERP systems. Giving this much responsibility to your IT department can lead to a situation where innocent bystanders can be caught in the crossfire of a battle between department heads.

Author: Craig Harris, Digital StoryTelling Collective

We read this insight and thought it worth presenting to you. Whilst we would not express things in this manner as IT Departments perform a valuable role within an organisation, the underlying concept that the author is trying to convey remains very valid i.e. that the choice of a new Business Software System should be driven by business needs with management choosing the best system to fulfill such needs and not what may fit their current IT configuration.

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