Developing capabilities and tools
The second area of focus within their IT organisations
for evolving CIOs has two parts. One is comprised of
the processes, methods and tools used by the IT team.
The other part is the skills and capabilities of IT staff.
Deploying a Highway Code
If leadership describes the journey to the IT organisation s
ideal, evolved destination, then the Highway Code that helps
road users understand how to get there is the IT processes,
methods and tools creating the guiding principles of driving
convention. They also draw the map. The evolving CIO will
ensure all of these are in place to support the evolution of
his own and his IT organisation s roles.
Developing deep partnerships with customers and
suppliers, and streamlining its sourcing model can give
the IT organisation the experience and credibility needed
to guide the enterprise itself through an equally radical
transformation of business processes, methods and tools.
The IT function is now in a position to hold up a mirror to
the rest of the enterprise and say, Look. We ve proven our
ability to do this very effectively in our own organisation.
Now let us do it for you.
Processes grow organically in most enterprises, layered
one over the next rather than carefully stripping out the
old as the new ones go in. Consequently, it is rarely easy
to establish new processes or the tools and methods
that support them which are rich and flexible enough to
support the strategic intent of the enterprise. Nonetheless,
this is the task that CIOs must embrace if they are to
successfully evolve their role. If they do not lead the effort
themselves, CIOs will delegate it to experienced process
specialists with an excellent understanding of the business,
leveraging approaches such as Lean Sigma.
The CIO will also need to secure sponsorship for, and active
buy-in from, his Board level peers in order to define, agree
and deploy new processes enterprisewide. Leading by
example, evolving CIOs are visible and vocal sponsors for
developing and deploying agreed standards across the full
breadth of their enterprise.
The result is a more consistent and effective service to the
business, with processes, tools and methods aligned to the
retained part of the IT organisation. IT staff are encouraged
by the evolving CIO to take a continual learning approach,
which the CIO is also active in advocating throughout the rest
of the enterprise. The business and the IT organisations work
together effectively to develop and deploy a seamless result.
Traditional IT teams tended to deal with a defined
set of customers and were responsible for ongoing
maintenance as well as enhancements or new work.
In contrast, an evolving IT organisation is service
orientated, with broader capabilities ranging from business
processes to IT infrastructure. Its role is designed to
deliver to multiple customers and to interoperate with
other components. Service-aligned federated units
have an autonomy allowing for agile response locally,
with shared centralised governance to maintain a
well orchestrated portfolio of services overall.
The CIO s ability to evolve his own role will depend on how
well he nurtures the capabilities and skills of his IT team.
Developing technical, hard skills will remain important;
equally so is a new parallel focus on soft and people skills
that support the succession strategy for those below the
CIO whose roles are also undergoing evolution.
In building this organisational capability, evolving
CIOs place emphasis on achieving expertise within
their teams for a wide range of technical and non
technical areas. They will seek to create a T shaped
skills/experience profile in their staff, where broad
skills are complemented by in-depth knowledge and
experience in niche areas needed by the business.
The CIO needs to be able to spot and
nurture the talent needed to build
and sustain high performing teams.
Carl Urbania, Senior Vice President and Global Chief
Information Officer, Thomson Reuters
It s likely that IT will need to able to
set the vision and develop the roadmap
for future business development.
Gareth Jackson, CIO, Honda UK
In IT development the growth
areas are technical architecture,
project management and
UK CIO, Manufacturing Enterprise