Larger Business CIO’s Can Fail The Basics Too

December 16, 2009

I guess it is nice to know that many of the issues that I write about for SMB’s, can take place in larger businesses too!

But on the flip side – I must confess that it is a bit disappointing as well.

Arun Manansingh on his A CIO’s Voice blog recounts an issue with the chief information officer (CIO) at a larger organization that exemplifies many of the IT concepts I discuss here for smaller businesses.

… During the process it was discovered that several systems would crash twice a day everyday and this has been occurring for several years. It happened with such regularity that staff just lived with it and accepted it…..The CIO had no desire to change this process. “This is how I have always done it and this is how we will continue to do it!””

So yes; That CIO needed to be replaced.

I know that to line of business and executive management, IT can seem like a black box that you pour money in, while hoping something of value drips out the other side.

But It Doesn’t have to be that way!

And no, I do not mean that as a business executive you need to become a computer genius.

Just this past November, a Canadian business periodical targeting growing businesses published a column of mine on just this issue. It covers many of the basic steps that I have written about.

I fully admit that your IT Leadership should be starting the business discussions with you.

However, if they are not, and you just let that sit there and let it fester, you are abdicating, not delegating your IT management.

The goal of business isn’t to generate activity; it’s to produce business results, and yes – action must be taken (sooner rather than later) if those results are not being provided.

Who Should Ask These Questions?

I’m glad you asked!

The individual asking these questions must be senior enough within your business to be responsible for, and accountable for that responsibility.

In other words, it cannot be a junior controller who cannot ask the hard questions. Who cannot demand responses in reasonable time frames about reasonable activities.

The SMB Takeaway

This is not an overnight question or answer. It the day to day blocking and tackling you need to determine that you are receiving the value you need from your IT spending.

And I can gaurantee that if these questions start to be asked, that you begin finding that you have better visibility into your IT.

And yes, sometimes it may mean replacing underperforming IT Leadership

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