Scott Wu, WeWork, Senior Director, Global IT and Executive Technology

Scott Wu, WeWork, Senior Director, Global IT and Executive Technology

  • IT leaders need to take a big picture view when it comes to the role of the IT organization in supporting business
  • Working backwards from the desired result is an effective way to ensure successful IT outcomes.
  • Being able to communicate their ‘why’ to the business helps IT leaders design more effective solutions.

“IT teams have to start thinking bigger.”


Scott Wu believes that IT leaders often don’t take a sufficiently “big-picture” approach to designing their teams and going about their work. “IT teams are typically built for a single purpose: to react to customer issues, and then fix them,” he says. Certainly, a break-fix approach can be effective in the short term, but it quickly falters in the long term, especially when the company begins to ramp up its operations. “The only way break-fix teams have been able to scale, historically, is by hiring more and more people,“ Wu adds. “IT teams have to start thinking bigger. One way they can adapt and better prepare for the future is to look into automation and root cause analysis.”

To do that, Wu recommends that IT teams take a holistic look at the company’s goals. “The best advice I can offer is to analyze and work backwards from the desired result,” he says. “There is this idea called working backwards at Amazon. It’s actually applicable to so many teams, even outside Amazon, because it helps leaders and teams figure out what their desired end state is. Working backwards forces you to think in terms of the customer or the team you’re supporting and what that customer actually needs. Then, you can figure out the best solutions by working backwards from that desired end state.”

This is an excerpt from 9 Experts on How to Align IT’s Work to Company Strategy. The eBook was generously sponsored by Workfront.

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