6 Ways A CIO Can Shake Everything Up

by drjim on October 30, 2013

Sometimes you just have to destroy everything to rebuild it

Sometimes you just have to destroy everything to rebuild it
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Sometimes you just have to change everything. When you get the CIO job great things are going to be expected of you. Everyone understands the importance of information technology and so they are going to be looking at you with the assumption that you have all of the answers. Of course you don’t, but you can’t tell them that. Instead, you are going to have to show them. This means that you’re going to have to shake things up a bit.

6 Ways That A CIO Can Make Change Happen

In order to make your mark on both the company and its IT department, you are going to have to make changes to the way that things are done. This means that you’re going to have to evaluate how things are being done now and find better ways to do them. Every company is different and every situation is different; however, here are 6 different major changes that you should consider making if they are right for your company:

  • Insourcing: In the past two decades many IT departments have embraced the idea of outsourcing much of their IT work. Some of this work, like the routine maintenance of servers and the network is well suited to being outsourced. However, the development of new applications or the customization of off-the-shelf software is something that you might want to think about bringing back in-house.
  • Data Center Consolidation: If your company is like most companies, you’ve got too many data centers. Mergers and acquisitions can result in you having many smaller data centers that may be costing you more to operate than they bring in. Consider consolidating all of your data centers down to just two redundant data centers and run the numbers to see if this makes sense for you.
  • Application Consolidation: Once again, I’m willing to bet that your company is probably using too many applications. The culprit can be mergers and acquisitions or just independent organizations that like Lotus Notes better then Microsoft Outlook. You need to put your foot down. Shrink the number of applications that the company is using by standardizing on a set of applications to be used globally.
  • Software Development Centers: Every IT professional knows that the best software is created in a team environment. In these environments ideas can be discussed, played around with, modified and tested out. Help your teams create the best software possible by creating specific software development centers that they can use to come together to create the best software possible.
  • Portfolio Management: Instead of just guessing at what IT projects should be worked on, create a formal process in which the various business units participate in the planning process. Have formal business cases created and vetted with the business owners. This will ensure that everyone has a stake in the game.
  • Data Warehouse Consolidation: In this era of big data, having all of your data living together in one place makes the analysis of that data much easier. Help things along by reducing the number of data marts that your company is maintaining and make all of your data easier to both access and use.

What All Of This Means For You

A CIO that tries to play it safe and not “rock the boat” is not going to have the CIO position for very long. Instead, when you become CIO you need to immediately start to look for ways that you can make changes that will have an impact on both the company and the IT department.

We’ve discussed 6 different types of changes that you can make. Many of these changes have to do with shrinking the number of different things that the IT department has to maintain. We’ve also discussed bringing together your software experts in order to help them work together better.

Nobody ever said that being CIO was going to be easy. As CIO you are going to have to evaluate your options. You know that while you are in charge, the IT department is going to have to change. Instead of being surprised by how it changes, instead take action and go out and change it first!

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

Question For You: Do you think that your IT vendors can help you to decide which major change you should make first?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

CIOs have always had to find ways to deal with data. Collecting it, storing it, processing it, and eventually archiving it. The arrival of the era of Big Data has almost overnight turned what was already a challenging task into a nearly impossible task. Everyone in the company understands the importance of information technology and they all believe that the IT department can solve all data related problems. Now what is a CIO supposed to do in order to understand what all of this data is trying to tell him or her?

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