Technology that meets outcomes: Good IT is about backwards storytelling

Good IT tells a story. Once upon time there was an idea, a very good concept that used the best of technology to help people make the best of their skills.

It’s a tale of good over evil, where the IT professionals create something of beauty and simplicity that is usable, flexible and well designed. The story should always have a happy ending, but the potential for such happiness to be realised is dependent on a quirk in the narrative.

Unlike traditional story telling, good IT must always start at the end. There is no point starting a tale of technology implementation with the purchase of kit or the coding of bespoke software.

IT is never successfully implemented before the intended conclusion is imagined. Technology professionals looking to cut waste, increase efficiency and boost effectiveness must know what the business demands before getting down to the bits and bytes of implementation.

As such, the story of good IT must always be told backwards. IT professionals must start with the intended organisational outcome, having talked to line-of-business experts, and then go out and create necessary systems from in-house or external resources.

In short, everyone lived happily ever after because the IT people talked to the business experts and created systems that met a desired and achievable business outcome. The end.

Does that form of IT story telling match the way IT is implemented in most organisations? Do CIOs create the kind of narrative process that the business can understand? Or is too much technology still purchasing without a specific business result in-mind?

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