Open source shop Catalyst IT faced a "rich organisation paradox" when pitching its hosting, support and development services to potential clients.
According to Catalyst's director Andrew Boag, large organisations with the resources to innovate were often held back from doing so by bureaucracy.
"Large organisations with lots of money should have the ability to innovate," Boag said told attendees of the OSSPAC conference in Sydney today.
"They have money to burn but quite constrictive IT policies, [so] change is hard," he said.
Boag blamed stubborn IT policies for the continued existence of "antiquated and ineffective IT systems", such as terminal software in banks.
He encouraged would-be change agents to pitch practical use cases with their proposals, and think outside the box to address clients' specific doubts.
For example, a VPN could allow Catalyst to provide and manage a hosted service that also needed to access the client's internal data.
"Being technically possible is straightforward. There's a difference between being technically possible and practically possible," he said.
"People don't want bits of kit and applications that they don't know what to do with when it breaks."
Noting that good IT policies were necessary to ensure interoperability and stability, Boag encouraged conference delegates to "keep trying when coming up against issues with IT policy".
"It can seem quite fruitless and frustrating; it's difficult but there's always a way of achieving a solution within a certain set of policies and things do change," he said.