IT Should Not Be a Cost Center
Article links to a blog, which links to a blog, which says:
"...the general feeling that I get is that IT departments are not driving the same pace of innovation and productivity gains that they were 5-10 years ago. There are a lot of reasons for that, including leaner staffing, smaller budgets, a lower corporate profile in many organizations, and having achieved so many efficiencies in the past that there simply isn't any more low-hanging fruit on the trees of corporate productivity."
That's the crux of the problem, right there. IT departments have been told to focus on cost-containment to the exclusion of all else. To some extent, budget constraints do encourage innovation, but you eventually reach a level where you can't innovate in technology without appropriate resources.
I'm a technical user/business decision maker and one challenge I run into is with our IT department's approach to network security. We're so locked down that often we can't get the tools we need until after the need is over. We aren't allowed to have a partner FTP site for fear of viruses, so we transfer files via our own personal domains, where the company has no chance whatsoever to scan them.
In this environment, IT trumpets their success in preventing security breaches and virus outbreaks, claiming they've saved the company hundreds of thousands of dollars. But in my mind, these savings have come at the cost of hundreds of million dollars in opportunity cost. Our competition is closing in, precisely because they are focusing on revenue, not cost-containment.