IT Revolution Manifesto

The economic costs

Today, most organizations rely on IT more than they know. Almost every commitment a company makes to the outside world, whether it’s related to projects, operations, compliance or financial reporting, requires IT. Yet, many CEOs will still say, “We’re not Google or Microsoft. IT isn’t a core competency. We can outsource all of this.”

For most companies, IT functions as the nervous system and provides an increasing amount of the organizational muscle mass. Most critical business functions are entirely automated within IT, and 95% of all capital projects depend on IT to get done. Today, nearly every business decision will result in at least one IT change.

And yet, the IT organization is often mired in urgent and unplanned work, starving their ability to execute. Spending countless hours dealing with emergency outages and failures and laboring over needless compliance projects, IT all too often gets stuck with damage control instead of deploying features and changes, and helping the business win.

According to analysts, global IT spending in 2010 was approximately $10 trillion. But nearly 70% of IT projects fail, and nearly 50% of IT work is unplanned work or rework. If we conservatively estimate that 20% of IT work is wasted, that’s $2 trillion of value each year that we’re letting slip through our fingers.

The human costs

Unfortunately, it’s not just about money.

Working in most IT organizations is often thankless and frustrating. People feel as if they’re trapped in an ever-repeating horror movie, helpless to change the outcome The organization abdicates their responsibility to ensure that IT is managed well, plunging the department into relentless intertribal warfare between development, IT operations and information security. And of course, the auditors.

What inevitably results is chronic underachievement. The life of an IT professional is often demoralizing and frustrating, typically leading to feelings of powerlessness and rife with stress which seeps into every aspect of life. From stress-related health problems, to social issues, to tension at home, it has become clear that the current state of the IT professional is not only unhealthy, but unsustainable.

As people, we’re wired to contribute and to feel like we’re actively making a difference. Yet, all too often when IT professionals ask their organization for support, they’re met with “you don’t understand,” or worse, a barely masked, “you don’t matter.”

As a human being, this is the worst response we could receive. Because the opposite of love isn’t hate — it’s apathy.

What we’re doing about it

Throughout the last two years, we’ve seen an unparalleled amount of passion surrounding the solution to this problem, especially in IT operations, automated infrastructure, and the countless proposals of new ways for Dev and Ops to work together.

We know the current system is not working. We know there is a better way. We know that finding a solution will unlock IT’s true potential. At IT Revolution Press, we want to drive the greatest change in how we manage IT to date. One hundred years from now, historians will look back at this decade and say, “this was the Cambrian Explosion for IT, where we finally figured out how organizations manage IT to win.”

Over last five years, we’ve seen unprecedented growth and convergence of innovative ideas and technologies. Some are positive, such as Agile, cloud computing, Big Data, the DevOps movement, and the Lean Startup cultural patterns in the workplace. Some are negative, such as globalization and outsourcing, the rise of data breaches and compliance du jour, and the greatest economic recession since the Great Depression.

We aim to positively influence the lives of 1 million IT people over the next 5 years. To make this happen, we’re uniting thought leaders in all the relevant domains with a common sense of purpose and passion to help us achieve our goal and improve IT for generations to come.

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