The Centralization-Decentralization Cycle

It happens every 3-5 years, especially at larger organizations. I'm talking about the switch from a centralized approach to IT and information security to a de-centralized approach. Then, a few years or leadership changes later, courses are reversed. It's an endless cycle I see regularly. So much time is wasted implementing the model of service delivery that sometimes not much service is ever actually delivered. 

Why can't we pick a method and stick with it? Or better yet, blend the two so no matter who's in charge or what the analysts say, you can simply point out that we're somewhere in the middle and "leaning" one way or the other. Executives, I talking to you here. You need to think long and hard about changing the service delivery model at your organization. Is the change being called for by the organization's business units? If so, a change may actually be in order and it might stick after your departure which if current trends tell us anything will be in approximately 3-5 years. If this is simply something you want to do to put your mark on the organization, take a step back and re-evaluate. 

While nobody wants to be stagnant, there is a fine line between change for improvement and revolutionary change. Now obviously I can't say one or the other isn't needed in your organization but what I can say is that sometimes we don't stop to evaluate which type of change we're making and why. 

So…I know all the arguments on both sides of the centralized/de-centralized debate. Cost reductions, agility, consistency, compliance, integration, yada-yada-yada. Tell me your thoughts. Where is your organization, do you like it, want to change it? Go ahead…vent a little. You'll feel better. 

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Carly Westpfahl