We’ve all heard the term “Too Big to Fail” thrown about in recent years, referring to companies that are so large their failure could have an impact across the entire economy. We saw this first-hand in 2008 when AIG almost went belly up taking the world economy with it, but can IT departments be too big to change?
I’ve been wondering that lately when I read about big companies caught in the cycle of change. We see it all around us, entire industries disoriented by the change all around them. It’s happening in big media of course where instead of embracing the change, it fights it madly tooth and nail, throwing money at legislators and crafting legislation like SOPA/PIPA to maintain their dominance any way they can.
We see it in example after example. Look at the recording industry, the book publishing industry, the newspaper industry. And it’s not just media. It’s everywhere. The cloud changes the way you do your job doesn’t it? What about all of the mobile devices your users are bringing to the office. No more Blackberries for all. Oh no. It’s all slipping and sliding and moving. The target is always moving.
And that’s why no matter where you work you have to be ready to change, and that’s whether you’re at a small startup or a ginormous multinational corporation because the world is always changing around you and IT can help your organization understand this new technology and what it means to you.
The trouble is that as we’ve seen again and again, nobody thinks the disruption is going to really affect them and the bigger and more entrenched you are, the more likely you are to be complacent with the status quo.
But we’ve seen this attitude undo entire industries again and again. The Internet really changes everything and you can be part of the leadership that pushes your company to embrace the change or you can sit back and let it wash over you until it’s too late.
Too often we’ve watched companies do just that, but if you want to be a leader, you need to tell your organization the tough news; that it’s time to shift strategy instead of fighting against a tide that’s so strong it threatens do swallow you up, no matter how successful you might have once been.
If you doubt this, just look at the newspaper industry (another area I cover) and you’ll see the carcases of once great and mighty publications littering the landscape. Why? Because these companies didn’t take the threat of the disruption very seriously. They might have dabbled in the Web, but they never embraced it and that was their ultimate undoing.
And if it can happen to newspapers, it can happen to your industry too. Change is all around you. Are you ready to embrace it?