The U.S. Labor Day weekend marks the official end of summer and the starting gun for FY 2011 close and planning for 2012. Unless you are deploying a new solution this month, your organization is going to finish the year with the capabilities it already has—there simply is not enough time for new capabilities to have a substantial impact to fundamentally change this year’s performance.
While CIOs and IT leaders will be concentrating on closing out the year strong, they will have a bigger impact on their organization’s success by the decisions they make for 2012.
This year we have talked about re-imagining IT. That theme, which is also a theme for the 2012 Gartner Symposium, recognizes that there have been just enough changes to technology, business practices, strategic priorities and economic realities to allow CIOs to innovate and reposition IT in their organization. At Gartner Symposium there are presentations, case studies and workshops that illustrate three main principles:
- Raising IT’s strategic Relevance
- Enhancing your ability to realize business benefits from technology investments
- Reskilling your people, your organization, its capacity and capability
All three of these principles rest on three changes in IT’s context that create the opportunity to re-imagine IT’s role, value and structure:
- The transformation of resource requirements and functionality created by lightweight technologies such as the cloud and mobility,
- The adoption of agile development approaches and
- The need for organizations to support growth in emerging markets while saving money in mature ones.
These six things highlight the planning context for 2012 for your organization and for IT within your organization. The themes like strategic relevance, agile, cloud are broad. These themes present complex questions for which there are multiple ‘right’ answers. The challenge is to find the right one for you and your context
Regardless of your answers there are a few things that we need to do when re-imaging IT for 2012.
- How are you raising the productivity of the resources assigned to IT?
- How are you enhancing the experience the rest of the organization when they work with IT?
- How are you delivering scale efficiencies across your organization?
Take a look at your current plans while they are still in flux and ask yourself how they answer the questions above. It is time to re-imagine IT’s value in the enterprise as it can no longer be based on our ability to manage Scope, Cost and Schedule. Those operational metrics do not prove that we create value – only that we are not wasting money.
IT needs to answer these questions in the context of speed, choice and scale. The answers should be central to your 2012 strategy and plans as they set the tone for the factors that define the production function of IT. The reflect the need to re-imagine IT by engaging in focused creative destruction.
As we complete our plans for 2011 its time to set up the context for 2012. Here we face a choice, we can simply make 2012 like 2011 +/- a few budget percent or we can recognize the opportunities in front of us to highlight IT’s role in speed, choice and scale by making them the driving issues in 2012.
Which approach do you think will have the most meaning to your organization and motivate your team?