Tuesday, January 29, 2008

That alignment thing

Last week in a gathering of CIOs and IT heads (more on the difference later), the editor of a large magazine talked about the issues that we are grappling with. And like it or not, amongst the top 3 was "Aligning Business & IT" ! While a few in the audience nodded their heads in agreement, this raised a hue and cry with many present. One CIO pointedly asked the question, which industry and segment is facing the issue today in this part of the world (India to be precise).

Most CIOs have evolved in their roles and maturity model (can we categorize them by a scale akin to SEI CMM ?) such that this is no longer an issue. The CIO is today actively involved in taking decisions shoulder to shoulder with other business leaders. The discussion has shifted from which technology to deploy to how does it impact my topline, bottomline and the customer. Despite this transformation, the old flogging horse continues to be flogged even though it's long dead. Or maybe it is not !

My interactions with peers internationally specifically in the western world provides interesting glimpses on where time has stopped for many and they have yet to figure out the evolution curve. Even survey results on strategic IT appear to demonstrate that fewer CIOs are now reporting to their CEOs, which indicates that they have not delivered to their promise. Thus it was heartening to see the strong response back home with CIOs refuting the existence of the digital divide.

I am not offering any magic formulae for curing the nemesis of the CIO, as the cure in almost all cases lies within. The CIO needs to start thinking beyond the terms IT is a given. The CEO and the organization may provide the platform; in most cases, the CIO has to build this brick by brick and earn the coveted position on the management table.

Do you see this problem within your enterprise ? Write in with your magic formula !

No comments:

Post a Comment