Transformation of the role of the CIO

Are you experiencing an increased demand on technology? Are you finding out about outages on Facebook or Twitter or is your business simply going around you to obtain IT-enabled business capabilities? For years we have talked about aligning IT with the business and this week I was fortunate enough to spend 90 minutes with a forward thinking CIO of an organization in Asia that understands and has embraced the paradigm shift that is taking place and has leveraged it for organizational value.

The CIO (let’s call him Alex; names changed to protect the innocent) at a forward-looking organization based in Asia noticed the changing posture of the business post-global financial crisis. Looking to foster innovation and growth, both in market share and revenue, the first focus was getting close to the strategy development to ensure that the IT army could be mobilized for battle. With the analogy of a general going to war, Alex, evolved his role and that of his close lieutenant into a business technology manager and portfolio strategist who must manage the integrated IT supply chain as a service provider, broker and consumer.

IT must evolve from its pure operational role to a more strategic and business-oriented one in order to address the need for portfolio planning, cost transparency and better business and vendor relationships.

Many of these “transformed” executives demonstrate a unique ability to understand and speak the language of business and drive things like financial planning, vendor management, strategic sourcing and portfolio strategy. This means communicating IT services, costs and value in a way that helps stakeholders make informed decisions about the use of IT across multiple technology portfolios.

These strategic executives must be able to communicate the following to the business owners:

  • The value, in business terms, that the business is deriving from the IT enabled business service;

  • Costs of the services to be delivered to the business;

  • Reporting of the delivery of IT-enabled business on-time, within budget and within use expectations,

  • Processes and options to reduce cycle time and get new products to market faster;

  • Risk implications of outcomes so the business can accept or mitigate.

In order to deliver the above, Alex has implemented an Office of the CIO (OCIO) whose goal is to focus the IT organization on the effective and agile meeting of business expectations. The OCIO functions include Risk Management, the Project and Portfolio Management team, Security, vendor and supplier management, and business relationship management. It also is responsible for policy establishment, monitoring and the management of third party relationships including the identification and selection of partners such as cloud service providers.

Has your organization, like Alex’s considered the implementation of an OCIO function?

This blog also appears on the CA Service Management blog.

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Robert Stroud

Vice President Strategy & Innovation IT Business Management at CA Technologies
Robert Stroud is vice president of innovation and strategy for IT Business Management at CA Technologies. Rob is dedicated to the development of industry trends, strategy and communication of industry best practices. Rob is a strong advocate for the governance, security, risk and assurance communities working closely with the community to author, develop and communicate standards and best practices. Rob also advises organizations on their implementations to ensure they drive maximum business value from their investments in IT-enabled business governance. Following a four-year term as an ISACA International vice president, Rob served on the ISACA Strategic Advisory Council, and is currently serving as ISACA ISO Liaison sub-committee. Earlier, Rob served on the itSMF International Board as Treasurer and Director Audit, Standards and Compliance, the itSMF ISO liaisons to multiple working groups and spent multiple years on the board of the itSMF USA. An accomplished author and blogger, Rob is widely recognized for perspectives on industry trends. He also has contributed to multiple standards publications including COBIT 4.0, 4.1 and COBIT 5, Guidance for Basel II and several ISO standards. Rob served as an active member of the ITIL Update Project Board for ITIL 2011 and in various roles in the development of ITIL v3 including the Advisory Group, mentor and reviewer. Prior to joining CA Technologies, Rob spent more than 15 years in the finance industry successfully managing multiple initiatives in both IT and retail banking sectors related to security, service management and process governance. Follow Rob on Twitter: @RobertEStroud

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