The New IT Organization

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The new CIO is being born. Would you like a new IT organization with that?
There is lot of discussion on the emerging role of the CIO. This discussion is long overdue. Some CIOs thought their role was to implement technology. That would be accurate to the extent that the role of a Chef is to cook. But the key to a CIOs success is in knowing “what to cook!”
While you adjust your puffy hat and get ready to take the heat in the kitchen, you might want to focus one eye – yes, you will look cross eyed when you do but this is all for a good cause – on the design of the kitchen. Yes, I am referring to your organization.
What does the IT Organization look like when the CIO grows up? Can the IT Organization help the CIO grow into their new avatar? Should the IT Organization grow up with the CIO?
All great questions but seldom discussed, as they say, in the “mainstream” media. Not sure who would want to be characterized as “anti mainstream” but to me that would be either innovators or nuts – often they are one and the same. But we digress!
There are three things that will characterize the IT Organization of the future:
  1. It won’t be an IT Organization. CIOs will have to create a business organization that looks, feels, tastes, behaves – you get the picture – as an organization a “business” leader would lead.
  2. It would be a process focused organization. As my teenager would put it, function based organization are, like, so yesterday!
  3. It would comprise of skills organized as “centers of competence” – groups of people with a skill category led by a subject matter expert.The term often used is center of “excellence”; till I see something excellent, I will have to go with competence. I know that is still a stretch but what the heck this is the season to be jolly!
  4. The days of management are over; the days of leadership have begun. Soon this mantra will get off paper and be put in practice
  5. The manager will be transformed into project manager – you lead and initiative with a team cobbled together for that initiative with members picked from the centers of competence. Initiative over means team disbanded.
  6. The key management skill will be vendor relationship management. Every organization will get strategic depth – and yes, cost savings – from outsourcing. The management will remain in-house and the “work” will be performed outside. So your skills, unless you are one of the vendors doing the work, will be in managing vendor relationships. Note that I did not say “managing vendors.” Big difference between the two.
  7. The days of employees are over. Employees, who are units of capacity, will be replaced with subject matter experts who are units of capability. Bye bye life long employment.
So when is this revolution coming? Somewhere around 2050. Till then, management gurus have money to make talking about this new IT organization much like the new CIO. As they say time is money. Ciao!

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