Whether you think your requirements for technology are as simple as creating a Facebook page or as complex as a customer relationship management system, there is no escaping technology - like it or not, your business needs it.
Too often, businesses fall into the trap of what I call demand and supply technology; the business identifies a requirement and a technology provider delivers. Often the result is disappointment because after the technology is in place, nothing materially changes. Effectively, technology for technology's sake.
What businesses need is a strategic approach to technology and in a large organisation, this is the role of a CIO.
The CIO evaluates, plans, implements and manages ICT to better enable the business to deliver. The CIO also manages the daily operations of the IT department including traditional business as usual ICT functions of Lan/Wan/Desktop support.
So, the question is - how to have a CIO without the cost? It is possible as long as you have a methodology.
The methodology I use combines a part time allocation of a CIO resource, with best practice business planning, led by the CIO including:
- The Organisation Values and Guiding Principles - This defines the "higher purpose", what the organisation stands for and how ICT is relevant. An organisation's most valuable assets are employees, so broadcasting a higher purpose and a well defined set of Values and Guiding Principles shapes the organisation culture, enabling employees to feel empowered, motivated and rewarded whilst also establishing the organisation's brand. It also provides a framework for partnerships and is the strategic "checklist" that is used to validate decisions.
- The ICT Roadmap - This is a subset of the Strategy and is guided by the Organisation Values and Guiding Principles. It defines the ICT plan to get from where the organisation is to where it wants to be and is the ICT blueprint to achieve the organisation's higher purpose.
- Change Program - This compares the way things are currently done versus the way things should be done and then maps out how the change will occur, using ICT to implement best practice.