Five Challenges For Today’s Cio

Five major trends define the challenges of today’s information technology organization – and the opportunities for businesses to capitalize on IT. None are new. Most IT organizations have been in the process of interpreting and addressing them for several years. But the economic downturn interrupted both focus and progress, and technological capabilities have continued to advance in the interim. Now is a good time to take stock, reinvigorate the effort, and follow the fastest paths to business results in these five domains: • Business analytics – turning information into insight. We have the tools to answer new kinds of questions: What’s the best action to take? The likely outcome? The ideal result? In the process we can transform the measurement, management, and performance of business processes. IT must drive the business appetite for innovative analytics. Mobile applications – extending the enterprise. It’s no longer a matter of “phone home,” or getting information and simple applications to be decipherable on those little screens. Mobile computing-and-communications devices are in everyone’s hands and business applications must capitalize on their capabilities, starting with knowledge of location. Enterprise infrastructure extends to wherever employees, customers, and business partners may be. Collaboration technologies – adding dimension to business interactions. Social networks may seem addictive and distracting, but collaboration technology should be at work everyplace that the business can benefit from more and better communication and coordination, both inside and in the market. In other words, everyplace. Leaving available brains and capabilities untapped means leaving money on the table. Cloud computing – putting the pieces together. It’s time to embrace the architecture of the Internet, including within the enterprise, as the platform for collaboration, mobility, and the flow of information of all kinds. In the process, we can enhance (not compromise) information protection, systems security, and business continuity. Efficient and flexible, accessible and secure. Technological talent – riding the demographic wave. Businesses must capitalize on the technological competencies of the changing workforce, while coping with the uneven distribution of those competencies. IT must adjust its talent profile to capitalize on and compensate for what others in the organization can and cannot do. And the next generation of IT leaders must be prepared to work with a new foundation of collaboration, mobility, analytics and integration.

No one of these challenges stands above the rest. Analytics, mobility, and collaboration all have profound effects on how we work and how we innovate. We cannot capitalize on these capabilities without the platform that enables them to work together with the rest of our information systems. And all this is happening against the backdrop of an unprecedentedly large and swift flow in workforce demographics – those of us doing and leading the work. Three major drivers of business capability . . . the architecture for them to work together . . . the people to put them to work – that’s today’s IT challenge. Today’s CIOs are orchestrating a profound shift in how businesses use and benefit from IT. As profound as when the PC changed the interface and made computing accessible, or when the Internet made connectivity and information access ubiquitous. Today’s shift doesn’t have one technology as its namesake – it’s too multidimensional, and thus perhaps more challenging. We hope this discussion sharpens your perspective on these five challenges, both individually and collectively. We hope you will share it with management colleagues to help them appreciate and invite them to discuss what IT is up to these days, and how its business role and potential value are growing as they change. And we invite you to discuss these challenges, their implications, and your responses with us.

Business people can always use guidance around the information they have and how they use it – today more so than ever given the overwhelming amount of information available electronically. IT organizations have long provided that guidance. By understanding the information flows of the corporation, its processes, and its people, IT uncovers the inefficiencies, redundancies, hidden assumptions, and miscommunications of the organization. Information analysis shapes both business process and information systems design, and thus continuously improves how we work. All well and good, but we’ve really only scratched the surface of putting information into action. The tools and techniques of information management, analytics, and business simulation enable us to answer more important and forward-looking questions than ever before – and to ask them about more parts of the business. The overwhelming amount of information use is (and will continue to be) reporting about what’s already happened. The other cells of the matrix represent enormous opportunity to do much more. Simple pattern and parameter analysis enables real-time alerts, and extrapolation from the past describes the possible future (assuming major variables and trend lines remain unchanged). But the real opportunity is where information becomes insight. Analytics and simulation reveal the connections behind why things happened, suggest the best action to take right now, and anticipate realistically complex scenarios for the future.
Questions adressed by analytics
What Happened? (Reporting)

The business payoff of new insight is pervasive: • Process performance. With connections and correlations revealed, processes can be simplified and accelerated. And if you can identify the key decision points within processes and enable them with better information and predictive analytics, you increase the odds of successful outcomes. Business innovation. Exploring information and developing insight are inherently experimental activities, essentially invitations to get out of the box and innovate. The business can regularly discover, assess, and test new ways of working, and people get in the habit of test-and-learn rather than best-guess. Performance management. Analytics is about how the hip bone connects to the leg bone, enabling measurement of connections, not just activities and results. That’s something every facet of the business can use more of, including the general management process. Most business scorecards and dashboards are still roll-ups of separate categories, revealing little about the connections and drivers among them.

What is Happening now? (Alerts)

What will Happen? (Extrapolation)



How and why did it happen? (Modeling, Experimental Design)

What’s the next best action? (Recommendation)

What’s the best/worst that can happen? (Prediction, Optimization, Simulation)

Reprinted with permission from Analytics at Work by Thomas H. Davenport, Jeanne G. Harris and Robert Morison. Copyright © 2010 by Harvard Business Publishing. All rights reserved.


Many companies are already highly analytical, already addressing the interesting questions, in selected parts of their businesses – trading, logistics, and others. But they typically struggle to apply analytics more generally. IT can help unleash the additional potential. Information management has grown into one of the core competencies of IT organizations, but there’s more growth to do. Information specialists have tended to focus on the data itself – completeness, accuracy, structure, and meaning. And that’s proven invaluable, especially where information flows at cross-purposes or people can’t get a handle on what constitutes a “customer.” But information management specialists need to focus more than ever on the business use and new potential of the data, which involves some additional questions: Is it sufficient (not necessarily perfect) for its analytical use? Is it combinable with other related data from inside and outside the company? Does the combination yield unique information to exploit? The information management team that adopts such a holistic and pragmatic perspective can be a powerful driver of business performance. Today’s constraint in turning more information into insight is human, not technological. IT can expand its analytics staff and information management capability. Most businesses must learn to think and behave more analytically, starting with the example set at the top of the organization. Progressive CiOs are discussing opportunities for analytics-fueled innovation and improvement in the executive suite, while they build an analytical capability and culture in IT. Other CiOs are waiting for demand to materialize before investing in more analytical skills and tools. They are likely to find themselves playing catch-up when (as is common) business demand for analytical applications ramps up suddenly. Three things to do (if you haven’t done so already): • Pick an important business area and take a close look at what kinds of questions are being asked and answered by the information available to it – and what else is worth asking. Launch an “information combination and analytics” pilot with a key customer, supplier, or business partner to optimize a mutual process. Enhance the information and analytics at the key decision points of an important business process.

Risk, Compliance and Analytics Risk management and regulatory compliance are two areas where analytics are playing greater roles in business decision making, yet most companies are still behind the curve. Analytics are essential to understanding and managing the risk profiles of corporations as they turn to more complex financial instruments, from fuel price and currency hedges to insurance contracts on weather events, supplier failure, and other operational interruptions. A fundamental principle has it that risk can never be eliminated, but it can be pooled and converted into more manageable forms of risk. Derivatives are a common approach – information-based financial products that demand analytical expertise. Meantime, risk management and regulatory compliance grow more interconnected. Today’s governmental information requirements and legislative changes focus not only on corporate finances and operational reporting, but also on energy and healthcare, two basic issues for companies regardless of industry. Even if government is not a direct customer of your products and services, it is a customer of your information – and your analyses if you hope to wield influence. Analytics can help corporations manage the mix of business performance, asset protection, and regulatory compliance. But it takes far more than yesterday’s standard and exception reports. It takes models and simulations of complex facets of the business and their interplay, which in turn demands a nimble and robust information management capability to keep pace.

landscape – there are over 225,000 third-party applications available in the Apple store. In short, “user adoption” has blown by the tipping point. And because customers and employees are exposed to this type of innovation at an unprecedented and accelerating rate, they expect their employers, suppliers, and business partners to keep pace. To do so, IT leaders must acknowledge that the cost of doing business now includes full mobile access. They must be prepared for anytime, anywhere, and at any speed. This means first putting the pieces together: ubiquitous connectivity, powerful mobile devices, and easy-to-navigate mobile applications must coalesce into the enterprise computing infrastructure. Then capitalize on the additional information available, including location and anything else that can be usefully sensed and transmitted by the device. And then streamline and accelerate transactions and business processes to take advantage of instantaneous or continuous communication with the “field.” This will not be without challenges, both managerial and technological. Almost every corporation developed methods for first-generation mobility management as the first wave of smart phones came into use. However, these methods were focused on security and control rather than employee enablement. With the massive proliferation of mobile applications and collaboration technologies, companies must revise their methods along principles such as full enterprise reach, customer enablement, and employee collaboration. The technology, meanwhile, pulls in two directions. Interfaces are standardized, but devices and applications proliferate. IT has relied on device standardization in the past, but today must be geared to accommodate a large array of hardware-software combinations as customers and employees now demand unfettered choice in carriers and devices. It’s no longer about how IT rolls out the company’s way of working, but about how the company works within the ecosystem of telecommunications services, devices, and applications vendors to further its business and that of its customers. So what can companies do to keep pace the mobile demands of employees and customers? Start with the marketplace, not the technology. Mobile applications enhance how the company interacts

Anytime? Anywhere? We already live in a 24x7, 180 latitude x 360 longitude business world, where two of the most critical business performance drivers are real-time information and robust mobile access to it. Organizations that harness these two forces in a comprehensive and coherent manner have significant advantage in reaching their customers and employees through a ubiquitous, always-on channel. Enterprises have long used specialized mobile devices for functions like field operations and even sales. But now the use of standardized, multipurpose devices like smart phones has extended to employee productivity, mass marketing, even executive dashboards. And in consumer-oriented fields like banking and travel, companies already push significant transaction volume through their mobile applications. The pieces are certainly in place. Over 42M Americans own smart phones, and the number is rising 85% a year. Almost every corporate citizen now carries a full-blown mobile computer in the pocket at all times. Broadband coverage has exploded, as Sprint and others roll out 4G networks, and onequarter of mobile subscribers have unlimited data plans. Innovators like Apple and Google have transformed the handheld device and application


with customers, serves their needs, and builds relationships. In the process, mobility drives new opportunities and business models. Then recognize that you cannot keep pace via tactical pilots and small deployments alone. Mobility must be an enterprise initiative in pursuit of scaled and sustainable results. Progressive CiOs see mobility as a business enablement issue. They understand that the next generation of mobility must be scaled for the enterprise and will serve the strategic business agenda. Other CiOs see mobility as an infrastructure issue. They remain focused on device standardization and security, thus limiting access to systems and data by employees and customers alike. Three things to do (if you haven’t done so already): • Assess all of the channels with which you interact with customers and employees, their changing channel preferences, and when and why they swap channels. Target mobile applications to enhance high volume/value channels. Work with HR to explore how mobility affects workforce dynamics and opens opportunities for more flexible and efficient work arrangements. Explore how to expose core information systems to mobile interfaces. This will involve simplifying transactions, rethinking user interfaces, and devising ways to enable access to systems that need to remain highly secured.

Remember: It’s Technology and Process
Commentary by Jim Champy, consultant and author. His most recent book is Reengineering Health Care: A Manifesto for Radically Rethinking Health Care Delivery.

About 20 years ago, the economist Lester Thurow published the results of a study that showed information technology was not adding a lot to the value of business. Of course, in the nineties, we didn’t have collaborative software, mobile technologies, sophisticated means for aggregating information, or the cloud. But just recently, a team of Harvard researchers, studying 3,000 hospitals across the United States, found that electronic record keeping has proven far less beneficial to patient care than expected. In fact, the research showed that technology complicates and even diminishes care by flooding nurses and physicians with information that takes care givers away from their patients. The reason, of course, that technology doesn’t always deliver on its promise is that organizations fail to redesign their work to take full advantage of technology. Today, technology’s promise is much greater than when Mike Hammer and I wrote our reengineering book, and, if intelligently applied, technology can enable more dramatic work change. So here are five questions to help you get started: • Can I use social networking to engage my customers in fundamentally new ways – getting them to come back and maybe even do my selling? • How can mobile technologies change the work that I perform in the field? • Can I use collaborative technologies to work with my suppliers to improve our joint performance and create new offerings for my customers? • Can I mine the information I now have to more accurately measure the performance of my business processes? • Are there hairy problems that I can now solve with the cloud, like the creation of the universally accessible healthcare record? The challenge is to focus on the design of work and technology at the same time.

Companies across the industry spectrum are getting adept at reaching their customers via mobile devices: Best Buy, Amazon, DirecTV, Avis, American Express, Hilton. Airlines are experimenting with email-delivered QR (“quick response”) barcodes that can be scanned at security gates. HBSC uses codes in print adds to drive business to mobile channels. Retail food outlets such as Domino's and Chick-fil-A have multi-channel mobile strategies, using text messages and mobile applications methods to reach customers for order taking, coupon delivery, nutritional content advice, and so on. Since they serve a wide demographic at point of sale, reaching customers wherever they are, including on the run, is very good for business.


Collaboration technology refers to the latest generation of tools that facilitate making connections, sharing information, and working together via the Internet, including web-based communities and their shared workspaces, social networking sites like Facebook, wikis and blogs, and associated web-hosted services for managing content and connections. Use of many technologies is free, and their popularity continues to skyrocket, to put it mildly. They’re entrenched in how we live our lives, if not yet how we do our work. These technologies, together with the portable devices they run on, are at the center of the second wave of the “consumerization of IT” – the PC revolution being the first. And as in that earlier revolution, corporate IT has responded with skepticism and reluctance. Seen as a hazard to corporate security and a potential time-waster for employees, these tools disrupt the corporate order so painstakingly restored after the PC’s arrival. Many enterprises are fighting an ill-conceived rearguard action to limit use of the tools. Ill-conceived for two reasons: • Employees won’t take “no” for an answer. The “net generation” fast populating the workforce has high expectations about what can be done with technology, including an assumption that the web activities in which they participate at home will be available to them at work and on the road. We’re already well past the point of denial. The technologies are cheap and powerful, and their use is ubiquitous. Employees find ways to work

around the restrictive rules. The genie is long out of the bottle. • These technologies change how we work. Collaboration technology opens up the information, computing, and human resources of the Internet. We can find more information and use it better, find and connect with people and leverage their expertise, and work together in collaborative spaces on problems both simple and remarkably complex. Collaboration technology is new business infrastructure with an astounding cost/performance profile. It’s also becoming a preferred channel of interaction for customers as well as employees.

Putting collaboration technologies to work is quite unlike deploying more traditional information technologies. Like the PC revolution, this revolution is organic and emergent. The technology has a different feel. Its adoption is fluid (or “viral”), not rolled-out per an implementation plan. It is integrated with other systems and technologies by the relatively simple means of standard interfaces and packaged services. It cannot be controlled by the rules and structures of yesterday, but can be channeled with progressive incentives and enablers – more carrots than sticks. Collaboration tools – often starting with an active, Facebook-like employee directory – can quickly become part of how employees connect, communicate, and work together. But they also serve

specific business purposes, often as extensions of existing applications. While the technology can be incorporated into any type of information system, it particularly lends itself to situations where ease of use, speed of delivery, and ongoing rapid evolution are inherent requirements, for example: • Any time a business process benefits from tapping additional information, input, or expertise on the fly, including input from customers. Whenever you need a shared workspace with suppliers or customers – for product engineering, order processing, customer service. Whenever a group of diverse or dispersed people are responsible for managing a process or producing a result.

Launched in 2006 for Best Buy associates, Blue Shirt Nation is a corporate-sponsored social network site that is voluntary, open-source, user-moderated, and operates outside the corporate firewall. Its original intent was to create a network that could help increase the pace of innovation, flatten the organization, and promote the exchange of ideas among employees. It has also evolved into a place where some 25,000 associates help each other solve retail store operations issues. Launched with little to no funding, it has become an important tool for keeping Best Buy at the top of its class in consumer electronics retailing.

Collaboration technology is already central to business innovation in major corporations. As the Internet has opened up access to innovative people and ideas, business innovation has become a much more dispersed and collaborative activity. Companies like P&G network extensively inside and outside their organizations for new product ideas. Companies go to online marketplaces like InnoCentive for problemsolving expertise. Collaboration technology can form an environment for developing new capabilities and experimenting with new ways of doing things. You can experiment at the “edge” of the enterprise at low cost and without disrupting ongoing operations or systems. CIOs must embrace, exploit and lead this computing revolution – rather than try to prevent it or to control it in the traditional sense. Use the new toolkit to do more with less, innovate faster, and find new ways to engage prospects and customers. Progressive CiOs see the business potential for collaboration technologies (but may feel ill-prepared to capitalize on it). The technology has entered the toolkit, so they focus on its effective and secure use. They look for collaborative opportunities in business initiatives and applications, and they find ways for collaborative tools to spur low-cost innovation at the “edge” of the enterprise. Other CiOs see collaboration technologies as a disruption, another set of uncontrolled technologies that may land on IT’s doorstep for ownership and maintenance. They play the “security card” to slow things down, but may allow in-house experiments like bringing Facebook-like social networking to employees. Many such efforts are half-hearted – their poor results please the naysayers and leave the enterprise handicapped in collaborative capability.

Intel publishes a set of progressive Social Media Guidelines for employees or contractors creating or contributing to blogs, wikis, social networks, virtual worlds, or any other kind of social media both on and off All who participate in social media on behalf of Intel are expected to be trained and to understand and follow the guidelines. Rather than being discouraged or prevented, employees are encouraged to be part of the global conversation about technology and other matters of interest.

Three things to do (if you haven’t done so already): • Focus on a specific business need or opportunity where innovation is called for and the potential innovators are dispersed or unfamiliar with one another. Provide them a collaboration toolkit, encourage them to tap additional expertise outside the organization, and monitor the effectiveness of collaboration and the business result. Define clear policies for collaboration technology use that inherently trust employees to “do the right thing” given basic guidelines. Monitor compliance and treat infractions as performance management issues. Enhance approaches to remote access and security by supplementing “perimeter protection” with a system of virtual devices and digital asset, identity and rights management.

What’s not to like about cloud computing? Resources including computing capacity, software applications, and services like email are available on demand. The scale economies of providers keep the cost down. Customers can monitor and manage their usage, pay only for what they actually consume, and scale their usage up and down with business volume. Available in the cloud is an already large and rapidly expanding array of software that is maintained by the providers. Customers can experiment with new software and build new capabilities very fast at low cost, and the flexible architecture of the cloud makes it much easier to swap applications into and out of use. Not everything belongs in the cloud, as CIOs know. Large and specialized in-house systems running well don’t need to be retrofitted to run in the cloud. And the public cloud isn’t the place for sensitive data or business-critical applications. It currently lacks the security, reliability, and management controls essential for both business performance and regulatory compliance. Using the cloud entails a new level of trust of service providers, and customers must look carefully at who is trustworthy and what applications are safe to run in the cloud. Even Google gets hacked. What’s your stance toward the cloud? • • Do you pursue cost reduction and cost-effective scalability – or flexibility and innovation? Is the cloud a set of resources “out there” – or an architecture for “in here”?

• •

Is it a technical option – or a business proposition? Are you using the cloud tactically – or strategically?

Cloud architecture represents a better way to configure and manage IT resources of all kinds, from servers and storage, to information and applications, to productivity tools and user interfaces. Technology assets and their capabilities are well-defined, modular, and connectable. Interface methods are standardized and published. Virtualization enables physical devices to be efficiently and securely shared, and heterogeneous technologies to work together. All of these resources can be managed as an efficient and flexible pool shared (as authorized) across the business, its customers, and its partners. Just as importantly, these resources can also be consumed differently – as understandable business services that people can access on-demand and often via self-service through a standard browser interface. Businesses enjoy more transparency into the services they consume, and can often pay according to actual usage. The cloud is the model of the Internet, an implementation of the principles of service-oriented architecture. It’s also an extension of the infrastructure, software, and information management improvement initiatives already under way in major corporations.

The answer in all cases should be “both.” The financial benefits should certainly drive your interest in the cloud. It can provide low-cost capacity when needed and be a cost-effective option for infrastructure services such as backup and recovery. Everyday personal productivity tools and commodity services such as email can be cloud based, reducing both operating and support cost. Applications that prove difficult to maintain, starting with those that require regular data feeds such as tax rates, are candidates for the cloud – and letting the provider keep them up-to-date. But your interest shouldn’t stop with cost savings. Collaborative applications and workspaces, especially those shared with customers and other business partners, are naturals for the cloud. You can access an array of specialized and potentially useful applications that your business and IT organization haven’t had the time or resources to consider. You can try these on for size and leverage the ones that work. You should also look to the cloud as a platform for business experimentation – the on-demand “greenfield” environment where you can rapidly and cost-effectively build, test and learn. Cloud computing is ultimately about business agility: • • • • Expanded access to information and applications. Expanded coordination and collaboration. Rapid scaling of business operations up and down. Rapid business innovation and deployment of new business capabilities.

Configuring a Private Cloud

Provision business services and federate CHOiCE with outside providers

Automate access, security, and management of the computing environment


Consolidate and virtualize technology resources of all kinds
source: eMC Corporation. reproduced with permission.


Progressive CiOs are exploring the cloud on multiple fronts, including cost reduction, business innovation, and the application of cloud architecture in-house. Other CiOs are focusing on the cost reduction opportunities of selective use of the public cloud. They should at least let their organizations get their feet wet with the experimental capabilities of the cloud. Three things to do (if you haven’t done so already): • Create a simple “cloud in a box” starter kit for information and applications-based business experiments. Experiment with a cloud-based service for something your business cannot do yet. Develop guidelines on what can and cannot run in the cloud, and don’t automatically say “no” on security grounds (your firewall isn’t doing a complete job either). Then parlay that into the start of a strategy for consuming and provisioning business services.

• •

That’s why cloud architecture is the right approach for the “in here” of enterprises as well as the “out there” of Internet-based services. The cloud approach enables better performance on multiple fronts simultaneously: cost, manageability, information access, new capability deployment, coordination and collaboration, business innovation and growth. A “private” cloud within the enterprise can even enhance business continuity and security (the chief concerns with the public cloud) by invoking more granular identity, asset, and location-based security in addition to the protection of the corporate firewall. There’s always been a fundamental tension in IT management: we want the computing environment to be robust and secure, but we also want it to be flexible and accessible. With cloud computing, we come a lot closer to having it both ways.

Government stimulus money is motivating medical institutions to adopt electronic medical records methods and technology quickly, but physician practices are reluctant to make their part of the investment. A major medical center adopted the cloud approach to hosting an integrated physician practice management and electronic health records system, accessible via secure web connections from physicians’ offices. The system deployed rapidly, and when usage took off it scaled up at marginal cost. Benefits span patient care, physician relations, and technology efficiency.


The four trends we’ve discussed have profound effect upon the work, talent, and leadership of IT organizations. We’re in a world where: • Collaborative tools and methods are becoming commonplace – but not well-focused on the most productive business opportunities. Business people are technologically adept with their personal mobile devices and collaboration tools – but there’s a generational gap in capability, and people are more attuned to the privileges than the responsibilities of managing their own technology. Vast amounts of information are readily available – but many business people are not analytical in attitude or capability, so they tend to take bad information at face value and underutilize the good information they have. • •

and on the road, within the enterprise and in its marketplace. Integration today is not about binding together, but about managing the interfaces. This requires skills in cloud computing, service-oriented architecture, and enterprise data management, together with an ecosystem perspective on the business, its marketplace, and its technology providers. Educate. To gain the cost efficiencies and other advantages of self-service, companies must rewrite the “social contract” of employee computing. IT must educate business people on the responsibilities of personal technology management and of representing the company in social networks and other online venues. IT must also educate business people – managers in particular – on how to be smart consumers of IT services. This requires consulting and influencing skills plus an outside-in perspective of how technology services are consumed. innovate. Despite growing technological aptitude, people tend to use new technology in old ways, and businesses tend to deploy new technology first to improve upon what they already do. There’s a new wave of technological capability available today, and IT has to drive the business appetite for catching it – by pushing business thinking about what’s possible and providing tools for business analytics and experimentation. This requires skills in

In a world where information and technology are pervasive, where organizations are full of amateur and semi-professional technologists, where serving oneself is becoming the norm – what do the professional technologists do? We see four focal roles for IT: • integrate. Today’s primary technological challenge is to configure and maintain a business platform for flow of information, connection of applications, and provision and consumption of services – a platform that operates in facilities

experimental design coupled with deep understanding of facets of the business, especially its information, processes, and customers. • Collaborate. The trend toward more collaborative work extends, of course, to IT just like the rest of the enterprise. IT should employ collaborative tools in its own activities, in working with the rest of the business, in learning from customers and business partners, and in tapping expertise in the online marketplace. IT should also collaborate in the ecosystem of technology and service providers to influence as well as effectively tap their offerings. In the process, IT should set an example for the rest of the enterprise. This requires skills in connection, communication and, of course, collaboration, again with an appreciation for the marketplace ecosystem in which the business and its information systems operate.

These practices paint an intriguing picture of the leadership qualities needed now and in the future, including in an IT organization. All three practices serve as a foundation for innovation and require a high degree of savvy in business, technology, and organizational matters. Where will this leadership come from? Most CIOs today recognize the changing landscape of leadership qualities, and that IT career paths are probably not developing them. They understand that future IT leaders will be facilitators of business innovation, overseers of an agile services platform, cultivators of collaborative communities, attuned to business analytics, and orchestrators of dispersed (often global) resources and capabilities not amenable to the controlling management techniques of the past. They know the leadership pipeline is thin and leaky, but that this remains a difficult time to invest in talent development. Progressive CiOs invest nonetheless, compensating with time and attention what they may not have in development and hiring funds. They take accountability for leadership development in their organizations and define and encourage the nontraditional skills needed in the future. Other CiOs bow to the pressures and problems facing IT today, waiting for demand to materialize before encouraging changes in IT roles, and pushing the development of future leaders to the backburner as a problem that can be dealt with later (and perhaps by someone else). Three things to do (if you’re not doing them already): • Work with HR to develop an IT Operating Model of roles and associated competencies instead of (or alongside) traditional functional roles. Explore ways to develop those competencies in business and IT jobs and rotation among them. Reexamine the IT leadership pipeline and ask what you’d do if you had to fill several key positions at once – how would you designate the best candidates and provide them with accelerated development and on boarding experiences? Treat innovation as a core competency desired in everyone in IT, as well as one of the key ways that people demonstrate leadership potential.

These roles have been evolving in forward-looking IT organizations, and it doesn’t happen overnight. Today’s responsibilities continue. The challenge is to manage and facilitate the transition into these roles – or isolate IT and leave the business insufficiently integrated, educated, innovative, and collaborative. What does this mean for the CIO and IT leadership team? The IBM Institute for Business Value recently surveyed 289 senior executives and identified three practices much more likely to be employed by the “outperformers” – the 16% who indicated their companies were significantly outperforming their industry peers (“A new way of working: Insights from global leaders,” 2010): • They develop capabilities that enable rapid adjustments to change. They are more than twice as likely to be able to quickly identify and build needed skills within their organizations. They establish work methods that facilitate and encourage collaboration. They are twice as likely to ensure that business process documentation is visual and well understood by key stakeholders. They are also more than twice as focused on directly embedding collaborative capabilities within processes to improve the speed and quality of decisions. They bring together disparate data for decision making. Nearly 30 percent report integrating different sources of data to a significant extent, which is 3.5 times more than their lowerperforming peers.

Technology and Talent: You Can't Have One without the Other!
Commentary by Dave Ulrich, Professor, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, and Partner, The RBL Group

Companies that invest in technology to increase collaboration, drive mobility, deliver business discipline, and trigger innovation cannot succeed without attention to two talent issues. First, technology changes how people in an organization relate to each other. Information technology’s first wave delivered an instant source of information at people’s fingertips; the second wave increased efficiency as technology changed time and space for business operations; and now the third wave focuses on relationships as technology connects people in new ways. Technology-moderated relationships require careful attention to avoid superficiality and ensure substance. Tweeting about what a celebrity eats for lunch on Tuesday to 1,000s of fans creates a false intimacy. CIOs need to carefully plan how technology will change not only work processes, but the boundaries of work. Being able to corral knowledge from disperse people and places to solve a common problem affects both productivity and relationships. Used wisely, technology accesses a broader knowledge base and turns that knowledge into productivity. Used unwisely, technology isolates people in shallow relationships regardless of the number of their connections. Second, using technology wisely requires increased competencies among the IT staff. Legacy stereotypes of IT people working in grungy rooms at odd hours are obsolete. IT people should contribute directly to business success, and CIOs should focus their organizations on the outcomes of the business’s IT investments. That entails adjustment to both roles and competencies. Roles imply what IT staff will deliver. Good IT professionals help their businesses change quickly, improve customer service, reduce costs, and collaborate in the marketplace. Competencies involve the knowledge, skills, and abilities IT staff must demonstrate to deliver business value, including not only technical excellence, but personal proficiency, business acumen, insight into what’s possible, and strategic perspective. Technology without talent is elegant systems that go unused. Talent without technology is isolated individuals working inefficiently. Technology plus talent equals added business value.


Stryve Advisors is a Business and IT consultancy that works with Fortune 1000 companies to spur insight, develop strategies, and implement solutions related to information technology, business processes, and organizational capabilities. Stryve delivers world-class services in the areas of solution development, execution and management; program architecture and management; business strategy for technology; and business performance and innovation. Stryve is a new type of business services organization: • We help companies identify and implement future best practices. Through our associations with leading business thinkers and practitioners, we identify emerging issues and opportunities and then work with clients to frame and implement solutions ahead of the market. We blend deep knowledge of the latest management and technology trends and techniques with the experience to drive results. Our strategists have decades of proven experience across a variety of industries. Our technologists design and implement systems using the latest advances in software and infrastructure.

Stryve is headquartered in Houston, Texas, and has employees and partners around the globe.

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