The term "business enabler" gets thrown about in IT from time to time. We in IT see ourselves as partnering with people in other business units to enable new functionality, to solve problems, to speed up delivery, and so on. That is the upside. The downside is the increased support costs to maintain the solutions we create.
Now other people have different ideas of what an enabler is. An article on substance abuse this week had me thinking of other definitions of "enabler". Are we enabling the business to overspend on IT? Let's make a light hearted comparison between IT and the article.
Article: "Provide money that may be helping fund their substance abuse?"
IT manager: "Build a business case that may be helping fund their IT use?"
Article: "Allow the addict to come back and live with you even though he isn't complying with addiction treatment?"
IT manager: "Allow the business unit to come back and run new IT services even though he isn't complying with policy?"
Article: "Provide transportation to places where he may be engaging in substance abuse?"
IT manager: "Help get the organization to fly the employee to conferences where vendors will encourage him to engage in IT use?"
Article: "Continue to help with legal troubles related to the addiction?"
IT manager: "Continue to help with legal troubles related to IT?"
Article: "Keep quiet when the person is disruptive or abusive?"
IT manager: "Keep quiet when the person is disruptive or abusive?"