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ITD 12 281011 ENG

ITD 12 281011 ENG

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Published by IT Decisions

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Published by: IT Decisions on Oct 28, 2011
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ITD #12 ‘Preparing IT for business change’© IT Decisions 28 October 2011 – All rights reserved
 
Preparing IT for business changeITD Research #12 : 28 October 2011
 
 
 
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ITD #12 ‘Preparing IT for business change’© IT Decisions 28 October 2011 – All rights reserved
Introduction
The only constant is change: this is the modern motto of the IT leader in this day and age. This can seem like abusiness school cliché, but for the CIO trying to steertheir department according to the organization's needs, itfeels as true as ever.Despite the regular challenges of just keeping thebusiness running effectively, there is always the dangerthat the business will change suddenly – a major shockfrom leftfield. Another company buys your company,your company buys a competitor, a friendly (or not)merger is arranged, or the organization just decides tocompletely change its activity.When these shocks take place, how can the IT leaderreact and work to support his ou her organization? Inmany cases it may involve working with a new IT team,auditing entirely different systems and processes andtrying to figure out how to merge one or moretechnology portfolios. It is rare for the CIO to be allowedto just rip up the existing infrastructure and to start overagain – however attractive this option may seem.And when the shock of a merger,acquisition or major change occurs,there is also the more immediateconcern around which team – and whichCIO – will survive? How do you go aboutproving to the management that yourteam has the best performance, skillsand methods and should be retained inthe new organization?Our research this week focuses on theseoften delicate questions of how to dealwith a major shock to the business. Howto keep IT on track during such aprocess? How best to prepare for thiskind of change? We all know that suchsituations will come up in ourorganizations at some stage, so it’s bestto be prepared.
 
Despite the everydayIT challenges, there isalways the dangerthat the business maychange suddenly
 
 
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ITD #12 ‘Preparing IT for business change’© IT Decisions 28 October 2011 – All rights reserved
Participant feedback
To explore the issue of preparing the IT department for a change in business strategy we asked fourquestions – three of which were multiple choice and one designed to promote an open discussion.We received answers from 20 executives from 15 industry sectors: shipbuilding, real estate,consumer goods, logistics, insurance, education, automotive, telecoms, broadcasting, chemicals,media, food and beverages, consumer services, retail, and financial services.
Question 1: Would you say that an IT manager should always be flexible in their present strategyto absorb a possible "shock", a merger, acquisition or structural change in the organization?
As mentioned in the introduction, the business school professors tell you that a good executiveshould always be ready for change. But sometimes you just want to upgrade a system and run at astable state for a while. With this in mind, wanted to ask our executive community about how an ITchief should operate in terms of strategy.They overwhelmingly said that being ready for change is important ‐ with 80% saying that it isessential to have a flexible approach to your strategy today. This suggests that life in a modern ITdepartment is almost never stable; the business always has something new around the corner.
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16Yes, it is essential to have lexibilityNo, it is impossible to predict any future event Having lexibility is necessary, but not alwayspossible80%0%20%

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