IT executives have been told to accept project failures as a reality of their portfolio—some reports even estimate failure rates for IT projects at 68%—but in today’s fast-paced world, the stakes for projects are higher than ever. The operative word in IT security, for example, is “breach”; that is, the weakest link can break the chain, so a single failure is enough to undo all other efforts. In this environment, “good enough” doesn’t get it done.
And while the margin of error is razor thin, the consequences for failing to keep data secure are utter disaster. The mere thought of something like what Equifax is experiencing happening in anyone’s own organization is enough to keep IT leaders up at night.
These stakes exist in increasingly complicated and ever-transforming environments. Getting everything right down to the finest detail becomes a top concern when trying to pull off things like cloud migrations.
It’s an exciting time for CIOs and IT Directors to have a great impact on their organization, but that requires a big portfolio and perfect execution to get it done. In an age where CEOs are investing more in technology than CIOs, many organizations have to wonder who is owning technology decisions in the first place. And with the movement to bigger and better technologies with less luxurious budgets than bygone days, there is immense pressure to do more with less.
While all these fears are new, the underlying problems are just the same, dating back to Y2K or even all the way back to the Challenger disaster. When things go wrong, it’s not due to a lack of technical skills to (for example) put security in place. It’s the organization and planning to get the administrivia down to the minutia right.