CIOs need to be aware that a mutiny may be happening right now!

CIOs need to be aware that a mutiny may be happening right now!
Image Credit: HoJo Anaheim

The CIO runs the show when it comes to all things having to do with IT because of importance of information technology, right? Well, it turns out that this is not always the case. Even as you are reading this, in your IT department a mutiny may be brewing. What has caused this to happen and what should you be doing to prepare for it?

The Reason For The Mutiny

The workers in IT departments are rising up because they’ve had enough of your company’s equipment and systems. They spend their personal time living in a world that is filled with the latest hand held devices and the Internet applications that they interact with have been optimized to meet their needs. As you can well imagine, this all changes when they come to work.

While at work, your workers are handed out-of-date laptops, cell phones and tablets to use. BlackBerry anyone? Instead, they would prefer to use their latest and greatest Apple and Samsung products. Likewise, they don’t want to have to learn to use the company’s cumbersome ERP or CRM software packages. Much better, easier to use, applications are available to use on the web and so why should your workers bother with your old systems?

When the interface to the corporate software is hard to use, you are going to find that your younger workers are the ones who are leading the charge. Surveys that have been taken have revealed that instead of being tied to the company’s legacy IT equipment and applications, your younger employees will instead find alternatives. These may include both spreadsheets (which are programmable) and cloud based applications to accomplish their jobs.

What CIOs Need To Do To Deal With The Mutiny

As the person with the CIO job, it’s going to be your job to get to the bottom of what’s going on here. One of the key things that you need to realize is that your audience, the employees in your IT department, spend their lives interacting with a lot of different software applications. These include applications like Google, Facebook, Orbitz, and SnapChat. These applications have been designed to “just work”.

When these same employees come to work, they then try to interact with your enterprise software. This software is not nearly as intuitive. It can be difficult to understand and there is often a long period of training that is required before you can do anything useful with it. Since you are in the CIO position, you need to understand this because you may have difficulty filling positions because workers won’t want to take the position because of the software requirements that comes with it.

As the CIO, you are going to have to move rapidly to make some changes. You are going to have to discover ways to transform the company’s most important enterprise software systems and make them more accessible to your users. This is going to be a critical task because if the company no longer needs the support of the IT department, then you’ll start to see both your budget and your responsibilities shrink.

What All Of This Means For You

Just when you thought that you had everything under control, along comes a mutiny from the workers within your own IT department. These folks have become used to using the latest and greatest devices and applications. They are no longer going to put up with having to use old, outdated, or hard to use hardware or applications while they are at work.

Your workers have become used to interacting with applications that have been tailored to meet their every need. When they come to work and are faced with ERP and CRM applications that can be difficult to use and difficult to understand, they simply give up and go around them. They find other applications, including spreadsheets, and use them to accomplish their jobs. As the CIO you need to identify this problem and come up with ways to fix it.

The good news is that the same workers who are in the process of finding work-arounds for your major systems are the same ones who can help you to find solutions to this problem. Since they know why they are avoiding using your products, they are the ones who are in the best position to help you find ways to get them to start to use it. Take the time to talk with your teams and you just may find a way to avoid having a mutiny on your hands!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Department Leadership Skills™

Question For You: What’s the best way for a CIO to detect if he or she is starting to have a mutiny on their hands?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Successful CIO Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Successful CIO Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

If you’ve taken the time to read any of the IT trade rags in the past year or so, you’ve seen a story that tells you how wonderful “the cloud” is and how it has become a key part of the importance of information technology. In fact, if you’ve read enough of these articles, you may be thinking that you are a bit behind the times – your company should be moving more of its applications into the cloud faster. However, it turns out that a number of companies are not making this move. Their reasons may interest you…

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How A CIO Can Reorganize An IT Department

by drjim on July 22, 2015

How a CIO conducts a reorganization can have a big impact on the IT department

How a CIO conducts a reorganization can have a big impact on the IT department
Image Credit: rocket ship

Hey CIO, how’s that IT department of yours looking these days? If you are like most of us, you are fairly happy with how your IT department has been put together, but there are some areas in which you’d like to make a few changes. Sound like it’s time for a reorganization of the IT department. However, before you get this started, you need to realize that you’ve going to be impacting everyone who works for you. Do you know how to do this correctly?

It’s All About The Roles

One of the most important things that happens during a reorganization is that roles get redefined. This can mean that a number of your staff will now be reporting to someone new. As you can well imagine, this can cause a great deal of confusion within the IT department.

No matter how carefully executed they are, these kinds of changes can cause a great deal of confusion. Ultimately your goal has to be to permit the new structure of your IT department to allow it’s workers to focus on the company. This means that the new organization is going to have to make it possible for IT workers to work more closely with other departments.

One way to go about making sure that you get the new roles that are created as a result of the reorganization correct is to to perform the reorganization from the top down. Have each layer in your IT department take some time and define how they would like the layer beneath them to be organized. This will allow everyone time to get buy-in.

A Little Help Never Hurts

One mistake that a lot of people who have the CIO job make is thinking they have to pull off a major reorganization of the IT department all by themselves. This simply is not true. If ever there was a time for you to bring in an outsider to help you out, now is the time.

One important area the you can probably use some outside help in is public relations. Keeping both the members of your department as well as the rest of the company informed on how the reorganization is going and what the next step is can be critical. Everyone may not like the changes that are happening, but at least if they know that what is coming this will make them easier to live with.

You Need To Be Very Clear

A reorganization is a significant upheaval for any IT department. Whenever this kind of change happens, your staff is going to be spending a lot of time talking about what is going on. You can’t stop this kind of conversation, but you do want to make sure that what they are talking about is accurate.

Your responsibility while the reorganization is happening is to make sure that you very clearly communicate to everyone in the department what is happening. You need to be constantly sharing with them what your goal for this reorganization is – what are you hoping to achieve by making all of these changes?

What All Of This Means For You

The person in the CIO position is responsible for creating a smoothly running IT department in addition to telling the rest of the company about the importance of information technology,. If you look at how your IT department is designed today, it is probably doing fairly well, but there are parts that could be improved. One way to make your IT department run better is to reorganize it.

A reorganization is a very disruptive event. You are going to have to take the time to get the new roles that people will be filling correct. You should not expect to have to do all of this by yourself. It is perfectly ok to bring in some outside help to provide you with assistance. Just make sure that you take the time to clearly communicate what is going on, and why, to everyone in the department.

As the CIO it is your job to solve problems for the rest of the company. In order to do this, you need to have a very efficient IT department backing you up. A reorganization might be just what it’s going to take to create the IT department that the company needs.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Department Leadership Skills™

Question For You: How often do you think that a CIO can reorganize an IT department?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Successful CIO Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Successful CIO Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

The CIO runs the show when it comes to all things having to do with IT because of importance of information technology, right? Well, it turns out that this is not always the case. Even as you are reading this, in your IT department a mutiny may be brewing. What has caused this to happen and what should you be doing to prepare for it?

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