ecaminc.com

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home Blog: Back From Red General Blog Getting The CIO To The Table
E-mail Print PDF
RSS

Getting The CIO To The Table

The lament echoes time and again, "The CIO should have a seat at the table." The claim continues that business cannot survive without the simplest of technologies. Then they provide evidence as if it would be the final nail in the coffin, "Just the other day, when email was down..." Raising my eyebrows in question, I ask, "So your email was down? For how long?" The question is like a scene from a horror film where the sudden realization is that the casket being completed is... your own. Gaining strategic respect is a long way away for those having trouble maintaining their tactical obligations. If your organization is having difficulty providing basic services, you will never have the privilege of being a partner with the business.

Get Your Affairs In Order

SIMposium 2012

Todd will be presenting this concept in more detail at SIMposium 2012 at the Gaylord Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas on October 29 at 10:30AM, Register now!

The first on your agenda is creating reliable, cost-effective operations. If your customer wakes up in the morning wondering if they will have email, Internet, file security, or access to their documents when they show up for work, they will never trust you enough to be part of their strategy. It is no different for them and their customers. Whether their customers (ultimately yours) are buying dial tone, electricity, or insurance, if their business operations keeps your customers awake at night, your company will never gain the respect to be a strategic partner... or even stay in business. IT leaders, like your company's leaders, must flawlessly provide the basic infrastructure as if it were the company's life support system. After all, it is.

This attitude goes beyond applications, servers, and computers. It applies to delivering initiatives, too. If your ability to deliver a project is either reckless or overburdened with bureaucracy, you will look equally incompetent. Lightweight processes staffed with business savvy, experienced professionals who can deliver solutions are a must.

Lose Your Baggage

Let us face it, networks, router, firewalls, storage, phone systems, computers, and the like are all commodities. So are email servers, CRMs, and other easy-to-put-in-the-cloud applications. Ask yourself why you still insist on having those in-house. Focus your time and energy on building what the business needs and forget the utilities. After all, does IT need to generate its own electricity? I would hope that the only need is emergency generators and those are under the auspices of facilities. In the early twentieth century, electricity was high-tech, as email, web-servers, firewalls, router, and sub-nets were in the early twenty-first—a mere dozen years ago. Today, all are commodities of the same degree. Treat them as such and free your technology shop to support the business.

Offer to Participate

You can uniquely provide value to your business by providing both technical and non-technical solutions addressing their strategic goals. Few, if any, outside vendors know your business better than you do. Once your customer accepts that you can reliably and efficiently deliver on your promises, you have earned the right to participate by using this knowledge to help them build their business. As mentioned in the past, there are no IT projects. Information technology supports the business. Start by forming delivery knowledgeable teams that can be involved in annual business planning. Develop guidance teams, some consisting of only a project manager and an architect, who are resident with the business throughout their planning cycles.

Everyone overestimates the benefits of technology while vastly underestimating the effort of implementing it. This is never more evident than during the excitement of innovation while creating great plans for the coming year. In the absence of implementation expertise, people attempt to create technical solutions—solutions that sound great, but are limited by lack of experience. The guidance team's job is to focus on understanding "how" to build a solution and keeping the business' spotlight on "what" must be built. This is a huge step in improving project delivery success by starting projects with teams aligned on strategic objectives and eliminating preconceived solutions.

Lead IT And You Will Lead The Business

Delicious Delicious
Add to Technorati Favorites

Leading the IT group, making it smaller, more agile, and focused on delivering business value is what opens the door to being at "the table." To take the final step through the C-Suite door, your organization must be able to stay ahead of the business in applying technology that will make strategic changes to the business. These are not simple changes, but paradigm shifts allowing them to pull ahead of the competition. Shedding the shackles of utility maintenance, perfecting initiative delivery, and building an architectural group to lead the company into the future (rather than implementing technical toys), will make your IT group one that the business invites to the table, ensuring they explore the proper strategic paths.

Tags: , , ,

Previous Blog Next Blog
 

Comments  

 
+1 # Michael Kull 2012-10-03 17:40
I agree, but am reminded of Buckminister Fuller's quote: “If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don’t bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.”
 

Currently comment rights have been restricted to registered users only. Please try registering and logging on.


Who's Listening To Us...

Fortune/CNN Money logo
 
Forefront's logo
 
Logo Oregonian/OregonLive
 
Enterprising CIO's logo
 
Slashdot's logo
 
The CEO Magazine's logo
 

Read and Hear More...


Visualize Your Future

Change how you do business.

Project Failure Insight:

The following blogs regularly have articles on project failure, recovery and good management practices.
Chris Curran
CIO Dashboard
Michiko Diby
Preventing Project Failure
John Estrella
Dr. John A. Estrella's Blog
Mike Krigsman
IT Project Failures on ZDNet
John F. Moore
Random Thoughts of a Boston-based CTO
Roger Sessions
Simple Architectures for Complex Enterprises

Looking to buy the internationally acclaimed Rescue the Problem Project?

Image of RPP

For a signed and personalized copy in the US visit the book's website.

Not in the US? Try one of these book stores worldwide

Amazon logo
Book or Kindle
Flag of the United States
United States

Flag of Canada
Canada

Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of Ireland
United Kingdom

Flag of Germany
Deutschland

Flag of France
France

Flag of Italy
Italia

Flag of the PRC
中國
Flag of Japan
日本の
Barnes and Noble Logo
Book or Nook
Sony Reader Store logo
Sony Reader
Worldwide: Many other
book sellers worldwide.

Recent and Upcoming Events

Suggested Books

Many of these books have reviews in the "Books to Read" section of this site.

Critical Chain
by Eliyahu Goldratt

Related Items