The New Rules of IT-Business Alignment in the Digital Era

by Steve Murphy 0

CIO

This piece from networks Asia is an interesting summary of the conundrum facing CIOs (and industry in general one could suppose) in today’s world of warp-speed technology morphs, where business models and IT strategy become intertwined more closely and quickly than ever before. It starts with a request from a CIO to stop writing about them losing their jobs if they don’t adapt to the times.

Instead, he thinks experts and executives should recognize that CIOs may have the most difficult role in the C-suite. “None of the executive jobs change as fast,” he says. “The rate of change of technology is exponential, and the increase in companies’ dependence on technology is growing exponentially as well. And humans can’t understand exponential increases.” 

At the heart is a key argument for the inevitable balancing act regarding maintenance versus innovation.  Keeping the lights on is always a given, that is until they don’t come on, then we know who gets the blame. One only has to take a look at the current (and apparently ongoing) fiasco with TSB in the UK, where an IT platform conversion has resulted in nearly two weeks of severe customer account access issues. The fallout continues and C Suite folks have to go tell Parliament whats up. Not fun.  Here’s a case where a reasonable desire for cost savings resulted in the lights going out.

So the article’s author goes on to summarize methods to adapt to the new CIO rulebook, in which the previous balancing act point is covered and the next is that CIOs don’t have full control in a world of ‘everything-as –a –service’, but still need to make sure nothing goes wrong.  The third is the trick, which  is basically the

Rule No. 3: IT must commit to the success of every department — and of the organization as a whole

This might sound like a no-brainer. It might also seem like something you’re already doing. Many IT leaders would say they’re committed to their “customers’” success — and by customers they mean the internal departments and lines of business that use IT products and services, sometimes paying for those services via an internal chargeback system. But today’s successful IT leaders have gone beyond this model.

Some more interesting points from the CIO perspective follow.  A good read.

Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group