By Brian Lucas
The other day I heard a manager state that he was “a middle of the road kind of guy.” At times in the history of IT/IS that might have been a reasonable and sensible position. Now is NOT one of those times! CIOs and IT/IS departments are being deconstructed right and left. Business executives are expressing their frustration with CIO inertia by incorporating, in their own departments, personnel with technical expertise and going to the cloud for immediate solutions that fit their needs.
CIOs have been warned, if they don’t substantially innovate, their authority will be undermined within the next three years; according to a recent report by Forrester Research. Execs are bypassing the IT department and creating a two-tier system where the IT department maintains the legacy infrastructure while the new and high visibility efforts are developed directly by business unit based teams. “The CIO will potentially be relegated to managing the interfaces to the legacy systems of record and managing the underlying infrastructure” says Forrester.
Only 39% of execs thought IT consistently delivered value. Marketing and R&D chiefs which are vital aspects of business adaptability state that IT departments did not help them innovate. “Given the pace of technology change and the business’ need to improve products and services and deal with rising customer expectations, this leaves IT at risk of being bypassed for services firms and consultants” according to Forrester. While 59% still get their tech from a central corporate IT group, a substantial 20% now have a dedicated IT unit in their business unit or department, up from 10% in 2010. If you are a CIO how can you ignore this statistic?
The accessibility of cloud services and mobile technologies enables IT to be easily bypassed. Business execs are getting more involved in technical decisions. As the mobile revolution supplants the internet revolution, solutions will become more agile in both deployment and development. The end user targeting of technology has put business execs in a position to make important technical decisions directly. They feel “technology is too important to the business not to be engaged and that IT does not understand the business well enough to be left to its own devices” says Forrester. So, are you going to commit yourself to innovation and become an agile player or be run over playing in the middle of the road? Till next time, keep agile!