May I have this dysfunctional dance?

Anyone who has been to an office Christmas party has witnessed some pretty interesting dance moves, but a dysfunctional dance? That's how e-business consultant Craig Ballance describes the relationship between IT and business.

He says there is a perpetual disconnect between the two groups largely because IT hasn't learnt to say No.

IT has been branded the passive-aggressive, allowing business managers to request technology that doesn't make sense for the company. It could be a doomed decision, failure guaranteed, yet IT blindly moves ahead with the project anyway.

Poor old IT will work overtime trying to make the decision right, attempt miracles to make it work, anything, before it all comes crashing down and the sorry mistake is realized. Sound familiar?

Try and recall the number of times a problem could have been averted with a simple No and Ballance's colourful assessment doesn't seem so unusual.

Ever accepted a project built on ill-defined business processes? Sure you have, then it is a struggle to deliver with impossible deliverables. It is this blind acceptance of business demands that contributes to perceptions that IT doesn't deliver.

So why is IT so willing to accept such a raw deal? Firstly, it has a lot to do with corporate dynamics where the confident sales exec, blinded by his own brilliance, dominates the decision-making process.

He or she can be far more persuasive and outspoken; qualities that IT desperately needs to acquire to become a trusted advisor to the CEO. Traditionally, IT has been at the bottom of the corporate food chain, usually below finance, marketing or sales.

Sure the hierarchy is changing, but it will take a far more assertive IT to really stand up and be counted and, more importantly, be heard. If you are going to dance then put your best foot forward, it's time to take the lead.

In the boardroom or at the next office Christmas party it will be IT stepping up to the podium and shaking their thang.

It is the dance of destiny. Send e-mails to

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