Forrester calls for IT culture overhaul

IT department culture often differs from corporate culture, according to a new study.

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Cecere believes a company operates most effectively when the cultures between IT and other departments are in sync.

"At a minimum, the cultures shouldn't be in conflict with each other," he said.

So, how does a CIO go about overhauling IT culture?

The first step, Cecere said, is to clearly identify the cultural gaps, examining differences in decision-making styles and levels of risk between IT and other departments.

Once identified, strong leadership and clearly defined metrics of success will aid in closing those gaps, as will a strong network of people within IT who share information with the CIO on a regular basis.

"It's what I call institutionalising communication," he said. "It's more than just communicate, communicate, communicate, which you hear all the time. It's actually being very disciplined and very organised about it."

Performing such an overhaul, though, requires patience, as Cecere admitted a cultural shift is "a long process."

"You can change systems quickly compared to how fast you change culture," he said, "because culture is a lot about how people act when you're not looking at them."

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