What is the ideal IT organization structure that is needed to find the right balance between managing ongoing operations and new projects?
I seem to like a model that separates the organization into these distinct areas:
- Operations and support: these are the people that manage the day to day operational work, back ups, create new users, administer databases, manage security threats etc..
- Development and research: new reports, interfaces, in house applications or extensions, etc..
- Projects and vendor relations: they look after new projects, vendor evaluation, PMO. People from operations and development can be called upon to join specific project teams as need be
- CIO office: budgeting, strategic planning, etc..
What does everyone think of this organization structure and how do you structure your own organization?
I prefer a model that is aligned with the key components of our architecture.
- A hardware team looks after everything hardware
- A software team looks after all software
- A networking team for LAN/WAN
Each team is responsible for evaluating, recommending, operating and supporting the systems the look after.
Then there is a cross functional team that looks at planning and budgeting.
I agree with the model proposed by Jenny, after all we must remember that development and research people are very different than operations and support people, they have different traits, you have to select them according not only to their technical capabilities but also personalities.
You might want to have a look at
this Gartner presentation
on the subject. Like everything Gartner it is a bit philosophical and is not simple but I still find many of the ideas relevant.
The approach taken by Gartner is as follows:
use external trends and business context to shortlist IT organization types
Use drivers of business goals to shortlist positions and structures
Use business priorities to choose IT organization style and finalize the rest
Sounds reasonable to me .. also it shows that there is no one ideal organizational structure that fits all organizations, but there is an ideal organization structure that fits an organization.
Is there really an ideal IT organizational structure? I don't think so.
I have seen organizations work well with just project teams and on going support. Others have more traditional set ups. I think even in similar companies in the same indutry, you will still struggle to use the same IT organizational structure. The nature of the relationship between IT and the business differs from one organization to another and this alone calls for a different IT organizational structure let alone the many other factors many of you have already liested.