We’re hearing a lot these days about how CIOs are becoming more strategic partners with executive management – how IT is moving closer to the core of the business and earning a seat at the table in strategy discussions. I’m a bit skeptical that it’s happening on anything like a broad scale. It’s certainly true that there’s an awareness that IT is “mission critical,” that you absolutely cannot afford to have the network go down even for a second, or a security slip-up that results in losing hundreds of thousands of credit card records. Those are hugely important discussions, but they’re not seen as directly related to business outcomes.
Many in the C-Suite still see at least a percentage of IT expenditures as almost like a tax on the business. When IT leaders get into investment conversations, their colleagues are often about as excited as the rest of us are when it’s time to pay our personal income tax bill.
CIOs, for their part, know that new IT models and technologies are unveiling lots of potentially game-changing opportunities for the business. But they’re too mired in the day-to-day running of IT to implement them. Their hands are tied by escalating operational demands around managing the infrastructure, increasingly complex workloads and applications, and the relentless expansion of the IT estate into cloud and IoT. Here’s what I’m hearing in my conversations with IT leaders:
“I need help to run my infrastructure more efficiently. I want to take my finite IT resources and reallocate them so that they’re more aligned to business outcomes and crucial revenue discussions within the executive ecosystem. Can we do that while running our systems as well as, or better than, we’re doing it now – for the same cost? Or, preferably, less cost?”
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