You need a Britney Spears in your IT organization

Last updated: 19 March 2014

Whether you like her music or not, according to @forrester’s Marc Cecere, every business should strive to have someone overseeing the technologies and taking responsibility for the overall goal and destination. As Marc Cecere said at Forrester’s IT Forum EMEA 2011 in Barcelona last week, quoted by @mightysquirrel on Silicon:

“Who does the CIO need within the organisation to realise the benefit of empowered Business Technology? I think they need Britney Spears,” Cecere said. “On this CD you have 22 song writers, you have a dozen producers. Somebody had to have the vision for what this product looked liked and somebody had to put together all the pieces and I claim that’s Britney. We have to have a picture of what the [technology] is, we have to have companies that pull together to do things and make all those people work together. I like to think of architects as the Britney Spears of IT,” he added.


[Dramatic pause as I feel my security credibility wane – there is a point… read on]

All too often, different functions in the organization sit separately and fail to communicate on a consistent basis. This is particularly apparent in security, the gatekeepers to the rest of the business. Tasked with the nitty gritty details and often only brought on board once there is a problem, the security officer cannot plan ahead and ensure the business is future and fail proof.  Giving security officers more access to business strategies and the overall technological evolution of an organization will ensure they can brief their teams properly and take a step back to evaluate and select the best solutions to match the strategy. To further quote Marc Cecere via @editorialiste on ZDNet’s blog:

For example, a security professional may not just be concerned with maintaining a protective perimeter, but deciding how to protect specific assets, he said. […] Enterprise architects will also become more strategic, removing themselves from their occasional role as an extension of the help desk and focusing more on innovation and assembling and integrating the pieces.


Your security officer doesn’t need to be a Britney Spears (just imagine trying to recruit with that as the job posting title), but does need to take a higher level view and insight into the organization’s overall strategy. This will ensure that the most appropriate security solutions are implemented to protect the company’s assets without getting in the way of actually doing business.