Its the time of year to take stock of the past year and think about our wishes for the future. 2009 has clearly been challenging to CIOs and IT organizations but not without its ‘gifts’ so to speak. It has been a privilege to work with CIOs during the past year and I want to comment on the achievements of the past year.
CIOs faced the need to balance increased demand for IT services and solutions at the same time IT budgets were cut more than 10%. In the face of these challenges many CIOs showed their business acumen and leadership – restructuring IT and how it works to enable it to work smarter rather than just working harder. This required CIOs to do more than just ‘dehydrate IT’ removing money in much the same way that they remove water to make instant coffee.
CIOs at these enterprises have changed IT and the nature of its work. These CIOs are well positioned to lead the enterprise and IT as the economy transitions from recession to recovery. These CIOs should take pride in their achievement and reposition IT and its contribution in the enterprise.
Here is my wish list for CIOs for the coming year. Just a few things that I hope CIOs will be able to get to continue their success in the coming year.
- The ability to enhance the skills of their personnel both in terms of their business acumen and technical skills. People are the most important determinant of IT success and CIOs should give themselves and their teams the gift of great skills.
- A clear set of priorities from the business. IT cannot be all things to all people at all times and without a clear set of enterprise priorities, IT resources are fragmented limiting IT’s positive value in the enterprise.
- Strong collaborative relationships with their business partners and service providers. About half of the IT budget on average is committed to these relationships and many CIOs have commented that service levels and performance has declined in the past few years.
- A new financial and metrics model that reflects IT’s business contribution rather than its budget consumption. IT has evolved dramatically since it became part of mainstream enterprise operations. However, IT financials remain largely stuck in a 1980’s view of controlling capital and operating expenditures. CIOs need a new model that reflects IT’s contribution to changing enterprise performance.
I am sure that there are more things on your personal wish list, but it’s a good start. As we end 2009 I want to congratulate everyone on the end of a tough year and wish you, your organizations and your families the best for this holiday season and the coming year.