I believe Enterprise IT should cherish these applications, and the people who build them. It is too easy for people in OCIO (or whatever you call it where you are) to forget the reason that IT exists – which is to support the business and operations.
We don’t have computers and networks for their own sake. We have them because they are tools to help us accomplish whatever it is we do – fight wars, enforce law, care for veterans, educate, build roads, educate, etc. The reason there is a computer on your desk is based on a fundamental premise: that better information leads to better decisions, and better decisions lead to better outcomes. Too often IT folks forget this at their peril – and become the proverbial “self-licking ice-cream cone.” Putting a computer on someone’s desk is pointless if you then lock it down until it’s little more than a typewriter, calendar, and calculator.
I believe this is a long term trend; as IT becomes more ubiquitous, the line between “user” and “developer” and “IT professional” becomes less meaningful. Someday soon, we will all be developers.
Steve cross-posted this to the Open Source Software (OSS) group. OSS exists as a proven, collaborative model where anyone with talent can contribute to the creation of solutions in a generally merit-based way, which I offer as evidence that this trend is real.
“Enterprise IT” needs to figure out how to collaborate with it’s customers to be effective. “Home Grown” apps are where business value comes from.