My organisation is going through radical change. The change is partly structural, partly a move to different ways of doing what we’ve always done. Both will, it is hoped, open up new opportunities for the future. The change is impacting pretty much all of our IT systems and services in one way or another. Either by wholesale replacement of systems (long overdue in many areas) or by altering interfaces, data structures and so on.

The interesting thing about all of this is what it does to requirements gathering. Not too long ago, the organisation would come to IT with reasonably well thought out idea, and it was for IT to scrutinise this and turn it into something that worked. Once the business analysis and systems analysis had been performed you might end up with something rather different, but not radically different, to what was proposed: People don’t generally come to IT unless they need to. Face facts everyone.

Today, the new applications and services being implemented tend to operate at a very high level and the “business” (or end users) merely contribute to requirements elaboration. They don’t submit formed “requirements” in the way they used to. Their expectation is that “it works”. That is their business requirement. That is not to say they don’t get involved – They often have detailed and passionate input into requirements elaboration and definition, but they don’t drive it. They expect IT to do that.

The conclusion, I suppose, is that we’re moving into an era where IT drive the “requirements” and don’t necessarily wait for the organisation or “the business” (a term I personally hate) to provide them.

I personally have no problem with this at all. It puts IT and Technology firmly in the driving seat of an organisation, where it belongs.

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