Learn How to Manage Information Technology from a Business Perspective

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Long-time IT insider and Enterprise Architect, Thomas Tinsley, pulls back the cloak of IT to reveal to business managers how IT actually operates, and lays out 10 actions that can allow business managers to take a leadership role in IT.

"Houston, we have a problem." Long-time IT insider and Enterprise Architect, Thomas Tinsley, pushes off of those famous words uttered in 1970 when an explosion in the Command Module took out the system that provided oxygen to the Apollo 13 crew. Unfortunately, the air handling systems of Command Module and the Lunar Lander were incompatible, and NASA was faced with an ominous deadline to connect the two systems. The solution to meeting the death-defying deadline was the stopgap use of cardboard and plastic held together by duct tape.

Fast forward to the business world of today. Because the inner workings of IT are invisible to business managers, they have been conditioned to using ominous deadlines to keep IT aligned with the business. Under pressure, IT groups respond in kind with, you guessed it, makeshift, duct tape solutions.

Sometimes a business needs to move -- and move quickly. It may be necessary to borrow money to respond to an urgent threat or great opportunity. When this occurs, interest payments must be made until the debt is removed. A similar concept in IT is called "technical debt," where makeshift duct tape solutions are devised to meet urgent business deadlines. And, just like taking out a loan, interest payments must be made. Interest is paid when duct tape solutions make it harder to apply changes in the future. If the technical debt of makeshift solutions is allowed to grow, duct tape builds up and slowly destroys the agility of the organization.

In his just released book, "Deadlines and Duct Tape: How to Manage IT from a Business Perspective", Tinsley describes the need for business managers to play a greater role in the actions of IT. Tinsley pulls back the cloak of IT, and reveals to business managers how IT actually operates. Using true stories, Tinsley tells how business and IT managers miscommunicate and let deadlines drive short-term, duct tape solutions. Tinsley's manifesto contains 10 actions that can allow business managers to take a leadership role in IT. In turn, IT management must change how it operates by helping business managers visualize the automated factory of information processing. He sees this as a win-win, where business management can focus on servicing customers, and IT can focus on providing reliable, high-performance services to support that goal.

The book is an informative quick read for business managers who are in the dark about how IT performs critical functions, especially in the Internet era, and for an IT managers who feel like life is nothing but a series of deadlines. Both will gain new insights into managing the IT function from a business perspective.

"Deadlines and Duct Tape: How to Manage I.T. from a Business Perspective" is published by Meghan-Kiffer Press, http://www.mkpress.com. To request a copy, excerpt, byline article, or set up an interview with the author, please contact Ms. Scottie Jacob. (813) 251-5531.

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