Sitting in a meeting with some old friends and peers, it struck me about how much IT is changing – in ways that many of us CIOs wanted it to. For CIOs, there was always this ‘second class” citizen status in an enterprise reflected in our conversations: getting a “seat at the table”, “aligning IT with the business”, “being partners with the business”. The implication was we were a misaligned, seat-less, lonely group. That always annoyed me, and made me feel our thinking needed changing. Like being positive about selling your house: don’t say “I can’t sell my house”, say “I’ll sell my house and…”; envision the future.
Well, it is finally happening to IT. “Type A” firms (in Gartner speak) are delivering business services that, at the core, are IT created, developed, delivered, and create revenue for the firm. Efficiency, operational effectiveness, cost reduction – still important. Innovation, revenue generation, product development – huge. With the emphasis on cloud, outsourcing, core vs. context analysis, I dare say that OPEX improvements for non-core activities may even, some day, not be an IT function – especially if it becomes part of the firms DNA.
And then IT becomes a key profit center; the CIO a real business leader (and a contender for the CEO role). It’s happening in some firms. We at Gartner, in collaboration with MIT, refer to one aspect of that as the digitization of business. Green being the color of US money, I call it the greening of IT…