Navigating the rapids: How CIOs can stay relevant

Mike Alley looks at the challenges facing CIOs operating in an increasingly user-driven business technology landscape – and identifies three key steps that could help smart CIOs to transform IT departments, and their own roles, more quickly.

CIO - a changing role

In a world where as-a-service technology now makes on-demand experiences the norm for many end users, CIOs find themselves struggling to remain relevant. If users are routinely self-serving technology, and as so-called ‘Shadow IT’ has hit the mainstream, what is the role of IT and, by extension, the CIO?

This is the challenge facing CIOs and IT departments worldwide, and it is a significant one.  The solution is in the ‘service-defined enterprise’.

By embracing this new paradigm in business technology, CIOs can transform their roles.  They can become both business partners to the organisation, and define a clear role for themselves – standing at the helm of a service provider for internal users.

At the heart of the serviced defined enterprise is the development of a portfolio of user services and experiences, backed by the streamlined provisioning that is enabled by an agile and responsive IT operation.  The net result is a more aerodynamic business, one in which the levers of success are greased by a technology consumption model that is not only flexible and responsive, but also more affordable and sustainable.

Clearly, however, delivering this vision is not straightforward; it is a transformation journey and requires a well-planned service management strategy.  All the same, the smart CIOs will find ways to streamline the process – which could include:

  • Rapid adoption: Establishing a baseline for the process of transforming IT into an internal service provider.  Doing this within the context of a service management strategy also helps drive measurable, reportable business outcomes.
  • Rapid improvement: Building a continual improvement process that helps IT mature as an internal service provider. A good service management strategy is fluid - key performance indicators must be continually measured, and IT must look for new ways to grow and improve their services on an ongoing basis.
  • Rapid value: Through the rapid adoption of a service management strategy and continuous improvements, IT can add real and measurable business value focused on business outcomes that demonstrate the value of IT to the organisation.

Tags IT leaders, IT trends, CIO, IT Trends, IT executives