4 Types of Information Technology Cultures Explained

Feb 8, 2023 | Training

In his recent TechTarget article, 4 Types of Information Technology Cultures Explained, writer Jerald Murphy says “The type of information technology culture your organisation has determines the role of IT and the investments for which it will be more or less difficult to make a business case… IT leaders who understand their company’s culture are better able to make the best use of their IT resources.” Click here to read the complete article.

Jerald explains that, in the context of this article, “An information technology culture is a company’s attitude toward investing in technology and business technology as a strategic business differentiator.” He goes on to say there are four types of basic IT cultures – here is a brief summary of each…


Conservative IT cultures


In this type of IT culture, top leaders see technology as an expense to minimize and, in turn, they have IT departments maximize the use of the technology they possess to get the utmost value out of their technology investments. They don’t see technology as something to provide a competitive advantage, but a cost they want to reduce.


Modern IT cultures


This type of IT culture prioritizes cost management and will occasionally invest in new technology but do so more as a cost containment than as a strategic advantage. They will likely invest in automation if it directly reduces costs.


Aggressive IT cultures


Business and IT leaders in this type of IT culture actively look for technology to give them an advantage over their competitors and categorize technology spending as a key to moving the company forward. The leaders investigate technology that will deliver a business advantage.


Leading-edge or bleeding-edge IT cultures


This type of culture always sees spending on technology as an investment, with business and IT leaders who value technology as a business driver that’s essential to establishing and maintaining market leadership. They believe technology will facilitate a transformation of people, processes, and products.

The article goes on to describe the different approaches each culture has toward deploying technology and why. Jerald explains how certain industries tend to embrace a specific culture because that culture supports its values. He also provides examples that can help with understanding which technologies the CEO is most likely to approve and how to make a good business case for a particular technology. For example, an aggressive IT culture likely sees a clear business advantage in applying technology; managed service companies will justify adding event correlation and advanced security analysis tools that allow them to handle more customers without adding staff.

But what if your organisation isn’t happy with the status quo? What if you have a conservative IT culture and want to adopt a different culture, such as the leading-edge culture that facilitates a transformation of people, processes, and products? Fortunately, the discipline of organisational change management was created to help organisations move from an old way of doing things to a new way that will bring positive outcomes…

How to Change Organisational Culture Pink Elephant’s organisational change management portfolio offers two comprehensive certification courses that both include our proprietary Pink 20/20 change model that provides a structured approach for leading a change initiative:

Organisational Change Management Foundation: Learn the right way to effectively lead, manage, and support transformational change in your organisation. In addition to managing the change process itself, the key to successfully leading a change initiative is focusing on the people and cultural side of change. You will gain an understanding of the four major areas that need to be addressed, along with the applicable concepts, terms, principles, models, and approaches that lead to successful change.

Organisational Change Management Practitioner: Learn how to apply organisational change management concepts, theories, and models within your organisation. This experiential-learning course goes beyond theory to provide actionable advice and tools for leading the people side of change. It utilizes several case study exercises and Pink’s own 20/20 change model to provide a structured approach to leading organisational change.