IOUG Insight: The Difference Between Static and Dynamic IT Organizations

I have worked in many organizations as an IT professional. For most of my career, I have been a DBA, but I have been fortunate to have held other roles within IT. I am fascinated by many things specific to the technology-focused environments I have worked in, but one stands out in my mind—the difference between IT organizations that are static and those that are dynamic.

First, let me explain what I mean by those two terms. “Static” to me means frozen, unable to move forward or keep up with change; there is little or no innovation, along with a rigid corporate culture that is not conducive to creativity or inspiration. The term “dynamic,” on the other hand, does not imply constant change. To be dynamic means to be proactive, understanding new technology on the horizon and how it can be applied to solve business requirements. It also means encouraging innovation and building a corporate culture that takes advantage of IT professionals’ strengths and creativity. Dynamic organizations also know how and when to remain stable but adopt an underlying strategy that keeps looking forward.

I am specifically fascinated by what makes an IT organization static or dynamic. What triggers an organization to move from one to the other? The transformation is not easy and it certainly does not happen quickly. What is the magic formula that defines a dynamic IT organization? What common elements are present in these organizations that define them as dynamic? These are questions I have been exploring for years out of intellectual curiosity, and now they have become the topic of my doctoral dissertation. I am excited to be exploring these topics to make a meaningful contribution to the academic literature, as well as to provide practical information to IT organizations. I would say these questions can also be asked at a personal level. As an IT professional, are you more likely to be static or dynamic?

To be dynamic means to be pro­active, understanding new technology on the horizon and how it can be applied to solve business requirements.

I have explored resilience in previous columns, and this topic plays into transformation at both the personal and organizational level. If you tend to be static and you want to become dynamic, what steps can you take as an IT professional to make this happen? Do you voluntarily take on proactive opportunities in your organization to be recognized as the person who understands new technology? If you are a dynamic IT professional, what behaviors and actions do you think contribute to your mindset? Are you innovative, creative, resilient; do you adapt to change well; and continuously seek new learning opportunities?

These are all important and exciting questions to be asking yourself and your IT organization. Taking time to reflect on these concepts not only contributes to the generation of great ideas that can spark innovation but also helps you determine where you want to take your career.

If you are attending COLLABORATE 16, please visit the IOUG community booth and discuss some of these ideas with me and other IOUG volunteer leaders. We look forward to your thoughts, suggestions, and comments. As with all organizations, we are working hard to make IOUG a dynamic and evolving organization—a small step toward reinventing IT!