An Allegory of the Business-IT Relationship

I just came back from an RBC launch party for one of the new internal products I worked on as a QA Analyst. I heard a great story from Martin Venema that I just had to share.

IT vs Business

A man is flying in a hot air balloon and realizes he is lost. He reduces height and spots a man down below. He lowers the balloon further and shouts: “Excuse me, can you tell me where I am?”

The man below says: “yes you’re in a hot air balloon, hovering 30 feet above this field.”

“You must work in Information Technology” says the balloonist.

“I do” replies the man. “How did you know?”

“Well” says the balloonist, “everything you have told me is technically correct, but it’s no use to anyone.”

The man below says “you must work in business.”

“I do” replies the balloonist, “but how did you know?”

“Well”, says the man, “you don’t know where you are, or where you’re going, but you expect me to be able to help. You’re in the same position you were before we met, but now it’s my fault.” [possible source]

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