Re-imagining IT involves changing a few fundamental assumptions and factors that reset the context of IT, its operations and contribution to the business. Re-imagining reflects the reality of the technical, business and management changes facing CIOs. The cloud, drive for growth and need to accelerate cycle times all require keeping much of what makes IT successful, but adding a few new things to achieve new results.
Re-imagining IT involves applying creative destruction to just about every aspect of IT. The goal of creative destruction is to destroy existing ways of working in order to free up resources, management attention and organizational energy to do new things. Through that process, creative destruction seeks to create change with little or no net additional innovation — something that every CIO recognizes they must do.
So what has to be destroyed and what needs to be put in its place. Here are a summary of five areas that require re-imagination through creative destruction:
- IT’s Strategic Role: which requires destroying the perception and reality of IT supporting generic business strategies and operations in order to create new sources of strategic relevance based on competitive advantage.
- IT Organization: where you face the need to destroy technically oriented silos that tie up resources and reduce flexibility in order to create greater opportunity and dynamism.
- IT Personnel Skills: where you need to destroy habits that delegate current operations to existing staff while supporting new projects and technologies with outsourced or contracted resources.
- IT Processes: presents the opportunity to destroy restrictive processes, governance arrangements and management techniques that seek to protect IT from the business. These processes need to be replaced with agile approaches that concentrate on productivity and throughput.
- IT Metrics: destroy operational and project metrics that only demonstrate that IT is doing its job and not wasting the company’s money in favor of metrics that demonstrate real business impact.
Applying creative destruction in each of these areas recognizes the need to STOP new things before we START new things. Creative destruction is essential for re-imaging IT as the goal is to achieve new levels of performance within IT’s existing resource base.
Meeting this goal requires doing things differently not just adding different things to do. CIOs and IT leaders may be reluctant to do this as they think that they have to support today and build for tomorrow but in reality they have to support the whole lot with new ways of working.
The need for CIOs to creatively destroy the old and renew for the future is the focus of this years CIO Leadership Forums in Phoenix next week and London in early April.
Future posts will discuss each of these areas and the rational for creative destruction. I will post the links here and in each post.
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