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Does your company have a “business prevention” department?

/ October 5, 2012

Ron Tolido, the CTO of Capgemini Europe gave a very amusing presentation about the obstacles surrounding the agile enterprise. His humor was fueled from recently being at the Oracle World show in San Francisco, where he proceeded to make fun of Oracle and the hubris of their CEO Larry Ellison. Tolido said that programming in Java “should be a criminal offense these days,” partly because they first create programming problems and then attempt to use Java to solve them.

He also poked fun at Ellison’s statements that Oracle invented the notion of cloud computing and predicted that in two years’ time, Oracle will be laying claim to have invented enterprise mobility. His lesson is we all need to be more opportunistic, or perhaps one day Ellison might discover the advantages of humility.

During his speech, he touched on the notion of how many companies have an unrecognized “business prevention” department, or even several departments, such as the IT security group, legal and procurement. These departments are all focused on trying to keep business from being conducted. “They are very good at preventing business with their jobs, and will say things such as ‘that mobile app is dangerous, we have to study it for two years.’ Perhaps what we should do is to bring all your prevention activities together in a shared services center, you can be so much more effective. Could be an eye-opener.”

While this was somewhat cynical, it highlighted how we have to become more agile and understand the relationship of our activities with that of our business to become more effective.

Rather than prevent business, or focus on a particular direction, IT needs to be able to build platforms that can be reused and become more flexible, just as we have different choices for the various transportation modes of trains, cars, and scooters.

You can download Tolido’s white paper (registration required), where he compares these transports with the kind of lifecycle development available to IT. Here is his diagram from the paper.
Capgemini Trains vs Scooters