Posts Tagged ‘IT Department’

Inside the CIO’s Brain

Friday, October 29th, 2010

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For too long now, the collective talents of the IT department have been hidden, focused primarily on keeping the lights on. Focusing on making the operational stuff run smoother (and cheaper). This is still important, but my argument is that we’ve reached a point based on the opportunities that present themselves all around us; the economy, the changing workforce, the developing built environment and technology – the changing world of work – where we need to find a better way forward.

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The future of our success lies not in making the existing IT run smoother, but it is back where we all began this journey, helping those around us be more successful as a result of their use of technology.

We should be embedded at the heart of every aspect of our respective businesses, providing leadership, guidance and support to those that seek to find a better way.

After all, it is only we that are in a position to be the true enablers of transformation inside any organisation and we simply cannot get there from the confines of the IT Department.

The Paradox of IT’s Future

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

I know that as technologists, we live, eat and breathe technology. It’s important to us, we care about it. Hell, some of you even understand it. But in a world that increasingly relies on its use, across all aspects of our lives this presents us with somewhat of a paradox.

itinvsmYou see, for us, our success is making this critical resource absolutely invisible to those that use it. That’s not to say it’s not important, far from it, it’s just that like we mentioned before it’s critical that we focus on the tasks and outcomes not the tools.

As IT professionals we have to find a way to strike the right balance between showing enough visibility that people understand the importance (or even limitations and risks) and getting out of the way to enable others to be successful based on all that we have established from them.

For me, the future of IT lies not in the IT department, but out there, in your businesses, in your communities and with your people and that is where we have to go.

Corporate IT–It’s time to let go

Monday, October 25th, 2010

letgosmNow don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying for a minute that this is about a “free for all” where everybody has access to everything and can do anything they want – that’s not what I’m calling for at all.

But this should be a great time for us, we are sat on top of some incredibly powerful technology with a bunch of people who increasingly want to do more, be more efficient and dare I say it, even enjoy themselves in fulfilling their role. Instead we often find ourselves playing the role we all used to hate – we’re in real danger of being to the business what the IT security guys were back in the mid/late 90’s – the people that “just say no”.

It’s actually quite ironic, we’ve spent years nurturing this environment, creating a place where it can grow and be successful, and now that the time is right for us to start to pull back, to create an environment where we have empowered our people to be safe, productive and successful in their use of technology. Instead we often struggle to relinquish some of the control that we have fought so hard to establish (and which was so desperately needed way back when.)

What is needed now however, is for us go right back to our core principles and instead of providing everything, provide the environment from which people are empowered to drive their own solutions.

Our job in IT is not so much about our success, as it is about how we enable the success of others – understanding this subtle yet key difference is the key to our future success.

We should be the facilitators of success, empowering our people to be productive and free to chose the way in which they fulfil their roles but all the time, providing that safety net that ensures that they are able to do so within an environment that is supportive and protective in how technology is used to make us all more productive and successful.

The Changing Role of the IT Department

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

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I think the change that has been brought about by the consumerisation of technology has put us in a really difficult position in how we manage technology across an organisation.

Think about how the role of the IT department has changed over the last 50 years.

We’ve gone from being computer scientists in lab coats

Data processors running around with punched cards trying to help people make sense of the world

The heady days of success where we had the advantage – we were the only guys that could finally unlock the knowledge economy that exists inside our organisation

And what’s next?

Well that’s kind of up to us, we have a choice, continue to be hounded by people who want more (but care less) or should we get back to our roots, reaching out into the business and getting back into the business of enabling our organisations and people to be at least as productive at work as they are at home?