We are nearing the end of the first quarter of calendar 2010 and a few things are becoming apparent. 2010 is a year of transition as the global economy begins to recover, strategies turn to a focus on growth and new technologies work their way into the market place.
It is a year of transition according to CIOs who still see 2010 as a tight year for their enterprise and IT organization. This is according to the 2010 CIO agenda based on the insights of more than 1,600 CIOs and summarized in the CIO agenda report and summary blog post (link).
Transition creates change and opportunities. These opportunities threaten the status quo and challenge the enterprises ability to respond. In 2010 the transition will be uneven impacting different global industries and local geographies making how you handle these transitions very personal and specific to your situation. The transitions facing CIOs in 2010 include:
- Economic transition from recession to recovery
- Strategic transition from focusing on cost cutting efficiency to raising productivity
- Technology in transition from heavy weight to lighter technologies
Additional information thoughts on each of these transitions can be found by following the links about.
How you respond to these transitions, the changes you make to your organization, its metrics and measures, its relationships and priorities will determine your success in 2010. It will also define the position and expectations of IT for the next five years.
That is a pretty bold statement. Here is why I think it is accurate.
- First off, much of the work traditional IT has been completed. We have automation, integrated and driving information across the enterprise. Future value will not come by repeating that recipe opening the door for CIOs to reposition IT in terms of these transitions.
- Second, the business demands for IT solutions will respond to demands for new solutions that drive growth in the recovery and productivity improvements. These demands fit IT’s ability to raise business performance better than demands for cost cutting. CIOs who recognize this opportunity to apply IT in more innovative ways that create new reasons for customers to choose your company and new ways to deliver that value with greater effectiveness.
- Lightweight technologies will change the performance curve of information technology. Lightweight technologies create solutions based on scalable services available via the Internet. The move to lighter weight technologies will reward IT organizations that are responsive in terms of cycle time, cost and capacity.
Leading organization are already making these and other moves to lead in times of transition, changing IT at the same time as the enterprise is changing itself. A significant early majority of CIOs already view IT as being directly responsible for changes in business performance, signifying that they know the rules of the game have changed.
What does that mean for your enterprise and your responsibilities in IT? Well it means several things.
- Start managing results before managing resources. The business lives on results and it is no longer sufficient to say you are doing a good job because you can prove that you are not wasting the company’s money.
- Consider changing the nature and structure of the IT organization to give it a lean performance orientation. (more on that latter)
- Recognize and build the skills you will need for tomorrow and back fill what you don’t have with managed services.
Embrace the transition for what it is. A chance to change and shed expectations that are no longer valid and define new ones that fit a greater focus on recovery, productivity and the leverage created by lighter weight technologies.
The time to think about and position these transitions is now as we complete the first quarter because before you know it summer will be upon us, the year will be more than half done and we will face another planning cycle. Better set the stage now than scramble to update strategies and plans based on yesterdays rules.