The Federated IT Organization

The Federated IT Organization

By Fred Latala

In the “good ole/bad ole” days, Information Technology (IT) was typically an insulated stand-alone entity with a defined hierarchy.   If you worked in IT you were on a team that sometimes worked with and sometimes competed against the other teams in the organization.   The technical teams, applications teams, operations teams, etc. all had their priorities, budgets and goals to achieve.   The company’s business was an outsider to most teams and generally not well understood.  Support organizations like finance, audit, real estate, etc. ranged from necessary to inhibiting depending on the situation.  Success was often measured in tangible technical units like uptime or batch cycle completion.  Then things began to change…

The advent of the cloud brought with it the opportunity for the company’s business units to procure IT functionality independently of corporate IT.  The traditional IT industry reacted with articles in trade journals, presentations at trade conferences and consultants espousing the threat of shadow or rogue IT and how to take back control.  Though this was a natural response to a perceived threat, it was short sighted.    

Visionary IT leaders lead the way by example as they always have.  Instead of trying to take control they embraced the opportunity to bring IT and the business closer together, the emergence of today’s Federated IT Organization.   The Federated IT Organization is based not on hierarchy but rather on teamwork with common goals related to the business.  This evolution has brought with it additional benefits such as speed, flexibility and efficiency.

Some of the keys to establishing and successfully running a Federated IT Organization include:

Operating Agreement
Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE)
Decision Making Construct
Common Architecture and Tools
Financial Transparency and Management
Best Practices Repository and Subject Matter Expert Directory
Quality Management Program

Those who have resisted providing these new services to their businesses during this time of accelerated transition have struggled to stay relevant.  But the leaders who have proactively implemented DevOps teams, created strategic Continuous Improvement/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipelines, and infused Scrum teams with IT expertise have elevated what’s possible for themselves, their teams, and their business.  

We are at an exciting time in the IT industry and the pace of change is only going to increase.  Embracing the Federated IT Organization is good business and good for personal growth.  Lead the way by example and your team and your business will thrive.

Originally Published at