Technology, IT Performance

Embedding IT at the point of contact

Research Article by,

Mobility is booming because it empowers the people right at the front lines of the enterprise with the intelligence they need to make better, faster and more informed decisions – right at the point of contact. It is no different with IT in general.

Embed IT directly into the enterprise and thereby place your most transformative tool right at the point of contact with customers, partners and clients.

Make no mistake, embedding IT in the enterprise is the CIOs responsibility. Transforming IT’s role within requires broadening the CIO’s leadership position to encompass both IT and business. As Wayne Shurts, CIO of supermarket giant SUPERVALU , explains, “We [in IT] need to become intensely business-focused. We need to reinvent ourselves for speed and agility.”

To do this, here are three actions CIOs should consider as they ponder strategies for embedding IT into their organizations.

1) Aggressively explore and embrace emerging IT service delivery options for greater speed and agility, particularly cloud computing. Cloud computing essentially cuts out cumbersome IT infrastructures and platforms to allow greater speed and agility. It is the optimal first step for synchronizing IT and business.

2) Boost efforts to modernize the application infrastructure. Modernizing creates flexibility and efficiency, keeping your company competitive.  This streamlining allows your business to adapt as rapidly as the markets change.

3) Embrace every opportunity to showcase your capability and willingness as CIO to be a business leader.  Shurts stresses that as CIO, you must have “a business perspective first and an IT perspective second.”

4) Embedding IT into an organization optimizes a business’s competitive edge, but it must start with a CIO who takes initiative to act business-minded and deliver results. This will help inspire broader change within the company.

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Paul Calento 255 Points | Wed, 04/27/2011 - 00:58

Embedding IT with the business changes the decisions that will ultimately be made about infrastructure, enterprise security, application modernization and device deployment. My guess is that the ultimate measurable benefit will be a quicker (almost Instant-On) turnaround. The challenge is that changes like this require more flexible management, quicker decision making and a decentralized approach to letting the business define goals and (in some cases) actual technology selection. Are CIOs ready?

--Paul Calento

(note: I work on projects sponsored by and HP)