Is it any wonder that many pundits are writing the CIO's obituary when your employees and the business are using technologies like social, mobile, cloud, and video to bypass IT?
Meanwhile, today's customers expect on-demand information, customized user experiences, and mobile apps. Your datacenter functions are being outsourced to gain cost efficiencies.
All these changes may sound dismal to some but they also offer a unique opportunity for CIOs to step up and lead their technology organizations into the world of empowered BT (business technology, or EBT).
This is a technology approach where enabling technology innovation is embedded in the business while IT provides just enough centralized coordination and oversight for enterprisewide goals. See Figure 1: The CIO's Role, below.
CIOs in this new world of EBT will play a vital role in developing and implementing business strategy — defining the technology direction for the organization in future years to achieve competitive advantage However, the ones who fail to adapt risk being relegated to managing technology portfolios.
To be successful in the era of empowerment, we recommend that CIOs adopt an iterative approach to BT strategy that begins and ends with the business, focusing on the following three main objectives:
1. Build EBT governance — or accept your status as a cost-centre
In this new environment, business leaders will expect the CIO to provide adequate technology governance while orchestrating technology sourcing and encouraging innovation.
The new governance requirements should facilitate the pursuit of new business opportunities and reduce impediments from IT processes while simultaneously achieving the value of both business flexibility and a stable, reliable technology base.
To do this successfully, IT must evolve new governance approaches that empower the business with guardrails and education, reserving strict technology control for only the most critical technology assets.
Rather than stifle empowered initiatives by forcing them through governance at the beginning, CIOs should aim to employ governance at the back end. The primary outcome from good governance should be an increase in business value from BT-enabled investments.