Posts Tagged ‘Information technology’

What is CoIT and why is it important to the nonprofit C-Suite?

IT budgets are down 5%, yet tech spending is up 18 to 20%. Why? Consumerization of IT (CoIT) enables the business side to take charge of technology decisions. With business seeking solutions that are simple, scalable, and sexy, line of business leaders who make technology decisions also must consider safety, security, and sustainability of those technology decisions.

CoIT and the new C-suite looks into the policies, technologies, and collaboration frameworks required to support the speed of business and the scalability of IT. LEAN and agile process methodologies are talking hold. It is essentially a fasten your seat belt time for nonprofit executives.

As technology democratizes across the organization, how will your nonprofit prepare for a world where consumer technologies may be more powerful than those in the enterprise? How will you harness the innovation without suffering from an external disruptive force? Join Business Technology Partner as we take the journey in consumerization and the impact on the new nonprofit C-suite.

Will you transform the culture?

Many IT departments are still reeling from the “slam it in and fix it on the fly” approach that was required by the rush to automate all core business processes (late 1990s & early 2000s). A reactive, crisis-driven and internally focused ‘systems management’ culture evolved as a result, such culture becomes barrier for IT to reach higher level maturity.

From “Heroic effort” to “Collaboration Effect”: IT department-wide culture is maintained by a ‘Heroic effort’ reward system, a value system that is proving to be nearly intractable. Along with the Hero mentality, expertise silo evolved a non-collaborative, finger-pointing culture that renders truly effective SLAs impossible to measure & enforce. A fundamental change in the heroic effort rewards culture is required to put an end to the reactive, crisis-driven and technology systems focused role for the IT department, and shift to business-driven, collaborative IT mentality because the business requirements for technology management have changed. The rapid push for offering ‘cloud-based’ services and the need to retool IT to centrally manage these, is certainly a perfect opportunity to rethink the role of IT and make a cogent case for a service-level driven rewards and recognition culture

The transformation journey must start with the CIO. However, very few CIOs are willing to step away from the existing IT management paradigm and hero-based rewards culture to adopt a new role as a culture change transformation sponsor. This has not been a required leadership skill-set for the CIO role to date. It is a dramatic change in skills, priorities and rewards tactics. Can veteran CIOs who came up the ranks accept this need for a dramatic change in IT culture? Will they have the required skill set to sponsor such a change? Do they have the charisma to achieve buy-in from the current IT staff. Or will it take a crisis? CIOs must drive the elimination of the heroic effort reward culture. This is the principal challenge for current “up through the ranks” CIOs. Recognizing the need for this fundamental change has not been easy for most veteran CIOs.

Be Change Agent to retool Organizational Culture: Culture is perhaps the most invisible, but powerful fabric surrounding organization, the toxic culture like water, which can sink the enterprise ship, IT is also at unique position to well align people, process and the latest technology to empower talent, enforce communication, enhance governance, and enable cross-functional collaboration, to retool organizational culture for achieving high business performance potential.


Crossing the Innovation Chasm. Does CIO stand for Chief Innovation Officer?

December 3, 2012 1 comment

Why does the Innovation Chasm exist? As a CIO, you have been charged with protecting your organization’s valuable assets, and with providing a reliable and stable infrastructure. As a result, you have become the “CI-No”:

  • “No, we can’t buy that application you saw in an airplane magazine.”
  • “No, we can’t have a new Web site built in two weeks.”
  • “No, we can’t do that because it will expose our customer data.”

You could be the CI-No because you were the only game in town: if the business wanted access to technology, they had to come through you. That’s not the case anymore. One of the byproducts of the perfect storm is that the business can now access technology directly from the Cloud without your involvement, and without your knowledge. It happens in companies of all sizes, in every industry, regardless of your IT or security stance. When business has access to that technology, it widens the chasm.

IT has to up its game, and smart CIOs are on a path to help the business use technology to innovate both what they do and how they do it.

Here is a great visual of how to align with the CEO.

CEO Hierarchy of Needs

via Crossing the Innovation Chasm.

Is hope a good strategy?

September 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Is hope a good strategy? For many of us in business, it seems to be on some days. We can break out of that vicious cycle though. With business technology, we can bring clarity to the business goal and help with a workforce computing strategy that enables the business goal.When thinking of the workforce computing strategy, some questions to answer are:

  • What is the measurable business goal?
  • What capabilities are needed to reach the goal?
  • What strategies is the business focused on?
  • What culture is our business creating?
  • What people, processes and information is needed?
  • What are the current gaps that exist with our employee computing environment?

David Johnson at Forrester Research has just published Forrester’s Workforce Computing Strategic Plan research. He  has some great insights.

How strange it seems then, that thousands of IT projects begin every day, but more than one third of them crash enroute. Why? I would argue that it’s because there is seldom a clear destination in mind, a rational plan to get there, nor a viable system approach in place to execute the plan. Most of the time, the destination and the means to get there are only vague estimates, and the elements of the strategy are rooted in hope.

via What Is A Workforce Computing Strategic Plan…And Why Do You Need One? | Forrester Blogs.

How comfortable are you at participating in business strategy conversations?

September 6, 2012 1 comment

The job of a CIO is a tough one. Understanding and being able to communicate highly technical concepts in plain business language isn’t easy. We all recognize that strategic planning is probably the most important thing we do. How good are we at it?

The business world today is extremely complex. Increased globalization; heightened merger activity; competition from nontraditional sources; shortened product life cycles; and a tightened regulatory environment are just a few of the items affecting a company’s strategic plan. Information technology can affect all of these things… and more.

In addition, many companies use technology as the strategic weapon necessary to survive in the fierce competitive environment. It is the job of the CIO to understand all of the aspects of the marketplace in which the company participates to help it effectively use information technology to address these challenges.

How comfortable are you at participating in business strategy conversations? A great question to think seriously about.

Is Information Technology a support area?

August 31, 2012 2 comments

Is Information Technology a support area? The traditional, “keep the lights on” world of technology just won’t cut it anymore. Of course everyone expects their laptop to boot up and connect to the network. No one even thinks about it until it won’t.

Our business partners expect more. They want us to be strategic. They expect us to know their goals, strategies and can capabilities. The want to know how technology can help them generate more revenue.

And so a revolution is under way. We aren’t the guys who “make the trains run on time” department. Or at least, we shouldn’t be.

In today’s world, the technology department cannot just be seen as a support area. It must be seen as a critical part of the business. It’s up to the CIO to drive that point home by positioning himself or herself as a strategic partner—with a distinct set of skills and tools at his or her disposal. Take the time to talk to employees that use technology regularly to really understand how they use it. Listen to business line leaders about what their people want and need to succeed—and explain how new systems can enable them to meet those goals.

via IT Implementation Depends Upon CIOs With Social Skills – The CIO Report – WSJ.

What is business technology?

We live in a world where simply trying to align technology with business units is becoming difficult or even impossible to achieve. Savvy business staff (via the Cloud) can select, fund and enable technology without IT.

Developing effective business strategy today requires us all to blend technology strategy and business strategy in the development stage of planning, not after the fact. Technology should be fundamental to all we do as we develop business strategy.

A slow but relentless revolution in which traditional technology management, historically delivered only by an IT organization, is changing to be pervasive technology use managed increasingly outside of IT’s direct control and measured by boosting business results. —Forrester Research

I think characterizing this as a “revolution” is right!!

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