Proving IT’s Worth: The 2013 CIO Agenda

provingSome executives still do not see the value in IT. As a result, CIOs can see their budgets decline due to seemingly “unnecessary” IT components. As always, the goal is to do the same work with fewer resources. However, an article by Mark P. McDonald suggests that all the time spent rethinking strategies, coupled with the stressing of current IT assets could result in doing the same with less:

IT’s current story revolves current operations, concerns with a focus on cost, quality and services. It is a story defined by IT’s role as ‘tender’ of the IT garden of legacy applications, outsourced operations and limited value creation. The current story is not working as CIOs responding to this year’s survey indicated that on average their organizations realize ONLY 43% of technology’s potential. Clearly this number needs to increase if organizations are to create value via technology. Surprisingly, when I have talked with CIO’s directly a number feel that this number is ‘about right!” I guess it is about right if you want people to continue to draw resources aware from IT, after all you get what you pay for and if you want to get less, then you pay for less.

IT must maintain the ability to create value. McDonald mentions three reasons why it is struggling with the ability to do so. First, assets are focused on operations rather than transformation, making innovation more difficult. Second, executives feel a lack of need to increase resources when you are not greatly increasing the scope or the results. Finally, it seems that some organizations simply lack the skills need to attractive creative and innovative people to their organizations so that development can take place.

In short, there is simply not enough priority placed on updating the role of IT in many of today’s businesses. What is worse is that, according to a survey referenced by McDonald, more than half of CIOs do not expect to see a change in this trend over the next three years. The three issues that McDonald believes will determine IT’s digital future are strategy, funding, and skills. IT must adopt the roles of tending, hunting, and harvesting in order to prosper. In other words, IT must be well managed, easily visible, and provide better than average payback if we hope to see any changes in this trend in the future.


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