We Need to Re-think the IT Function

written by Bob Liley

In my judgment, our thinking around the nature and structure of the IT function in most organizations is woefully out-of-date and we need to radically revise this if the function is going to survive the next ten years. What leads me to this conclusion? Information technologies and related tools are now ubiquitous and are increasingly imbedded in goods that, only a few years ago, would have been unimaginable (the ‘Internet of things’). Information is now a commodity in the hands of consumers (smart phones). Social networking media have redefined the landscape for inter-personal and even business interactions. Developments in mobile information tools and technologies are changing the fundamental nature of many business operations. The ability to ‘print’ three-dimensional objects could revolutionize some industries. Data and data sources are exploding, overwhelming the ability of many organizations to cope. And changes in the information environment continue to come at us at Warp speed. In fact, the pace of change is accelerating, if that’s at all possible, and I believe that is because (as the first George Bush stated some years ago now) there are now thousands more ‘points of light’ that are driving this change. But, before we explore this further, it might be useful to briefly examine where we have been with IT. Continue reading

Relationship-Building… Key to Your Success as a CIO

Written by Robert Liley. He is a Principal in The Signal Group, a Vancouver-based management consulting firm. Over the years, he has counseled several successful CIOs, as well as having been one himself. For more on this subject, or to purchase a copy of his guide ‘The CIO’s Executive Handbook’ please visit his web site at www.theciohandbook.com.

The role of the CIO is rapidly changing. Are you ready to meet the increasing demands of this new role? Before you answer this question, we need to first understand the nature of this evolution and the factors that are driving it. In my view, it’s being driven by a significant change in expectations on the part of the CEO and the rest of the Executive Team with respect to the CIO. This has been stimulated by the role that information technology is now beginning to play in enabling fundamental business operations and creating competitive advantage, something that has only recently begun to appear on the radar screens of many executives.  And this, in turn, is being fueled by the continuing rapid advances in information technology which make possible so many of the changes that are impacting the way that societies and organizations work, essentially across the world.  Just ask the Tunisians or the Egyptians about the impact these new technologies can have. The problem, of course, is that many CIOs are not yet prepared to meet the emerging expectations, even if they understood them. Why is this?        Continue reading