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1.6 Organizational Aspects

When talking about enterprise IT, it is important to realize that many—if not most—of the problems associated with it are not of a technical nature but can be found on the organizational level instead. Quite naturally, we have already implicitly touched on many of these organizational aspects in our discussion so far (for example, when discussing the reasons for the failure of enterprise standards such as the Enterprise Data Model or the Enterprise Software Bus, which largely resulted from problems on the organizational and not the technical level).

The IT organization and the way projects are managed in a large enterprise are again very different from what one would find, for example, in a company that produced embedded systems or games. First and foremost, it is important to realize that most likely in no other part of the software industry will we find a development and maintenance process that is so closely aligned with the end customer. If an enterprise is developing a new financial reporting system, it will have to be done hand-in-hand with the finance department and any other stakeholders of the financial reporting system, possibly up to the CEO. A software team that is developing embedded control software for a dishwasher is unlikely to have daily meetings with a housewife about the exact functionality of the software.

An important consequence is that we are dealing with a much more complex and more ambiguously defined decision-making process, which is driven more often by business strategy and political agendas than by technical arguments. The organizational environment we are dealing with is extremely heterogeneous, and many different opinions will have to be incorporated into any decision that is made, be it a decision about budgets, functional requirements, project priorities, or the interesting question of what actually defines the success of an IT project.

For all these reasons, it is vital that our enterprise IT renovation roadmap provides not only a technical roadmap but also an organizational roadmap, which outlines how the technical architecture is to be established on the enterprise level from the political and organizational point of view. The second part of this book provides an overview of this organizational roadmap.

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