Stop it, you cannot get rid of your IT department

David Chou
3 min readDec 8, 2021

The IT department has changed drastically over the past few years. IT is no longer just a support team but an essential part of every company’s future. The IT department needs to be agile, innovative, and digital-first to meet today’s technology demands. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to get rid of your IT department, as this Wall Street Journal article suggests. Instead, it may be time to tweak your IT structure so that it can meet these new requirements. The following tips will help.

Centralized control does not work

The centralized IT department is no longer relevant in today’s environment. Explore a decentralized model in which top management delegates day-to-day operations and decision-making power to sector (department) experts, with technology specialists as part of the team. The fundamental idea behind a distributed approach is to give authority and responsibility to those who know best — those who are closer to stakeholders.

Consider a “pod” concept

Pods, in which a company’s decentralized teams are reconfigured, offer the potential for CIOs to improve their agility. The pod consists of technology experts, operation experts, and change management experts. This pod will be dedicated to the department to focus on critical activities essential to the department and organization while working in an agile environment, with an emphasis on delivering solutions with speed.

Here’s an example in the healthcare provider space where I have served as the CIO for various health systems. A challenge across the industry always has the following themes:

  • Everything is a priority, and attention is given to the latest crisis.
  • IT does not know operations deeply.
  • Why does my project take so long?

The pod can be developed to resolve the traditional IT challenge. For example, creating a pod focusing on pharmacy technology in a health system will consist of the team members below.

David Chou

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