Why IT organisations Fail

Gerry Flanagan

Published by
ISBN 9781483456485
RRP £20.48
Reviewed by A P Sutcliffe MSc, CCI, MBCS

6 out of 10

These days, almost every business relies heavily upon IT in order to conduct virtually every phase of its operations. Yet in so many cases, the perception of the business is that the IT service is not actually delivering the benefits promised, and in some cases, is regularly holding up progress; and that for far too many companies, levels of satisfaction with the performance of the IT service is often low.

The author suggests that there are a number of reasons for these beliefs, and that in most cases there is actually some justification for the negative views. He illustrates many of the key issues by showing that there may be a significant disconnect between the business expectations, and the reality of what can be delivered, given the resources available. He also proposes that all too often, the IT service fails to understand exactly what it is the business wants, and therefore is unlikely to provide what is actually required.

However, although the book makes some very good points, I’m not sure that it fully answers the important questions that it raises. In many instances, the book does provide a reasonable discussion of the specific issues, but does not appear to truly define exactly how the problems arise, or the specific causes of the disputes. As a result, although it offers some reasonable advice on dealing with the matter, there is some question if these solutions would be as successful as suggested; many organisations are already using the processes that are proposed, but still experience the exact same failures.

For some reason, I did not find the book particularly readable; there is a considerable amount of text with limited charts or tables to provide some highlight to the points being debated. Of those that are included, I did not feel that they offered much in the way of providing the necessary focus on the point being addressed.

There is no question that the main argument of the book is highly relevant within commerce and industry, and the subject is one that could be of considerable interest to a large number of organisations. However, I thought that it really only repeated much of the advice accessible in the past from specialists in the field, without adding much more in the way of added value, or guidance of ways to better implement the various processes.

Although the book might be of some interest, I don’t believe that it would actually help any size of enterprise change the way that it works for the better; and I feel that there is other more relevant material that would be of better value to practitioners.

Further information: Lulu

February 2018