For some time now I have been writing and speaking about a gap that exists between the capability of the IT function and the expectations of the rest of the business. This gap, which has existed for a number of years, is getting wider and is being filled by shadow IT and by vendors dealing directly with other business functions and hence bypassing the CIO and the IT function. This has led many commentators to predict the demise of the CIO role and a diminishing role for the IT function. Hardly a week goes by without a new study, research or analyst report casting further doubt on the value, importance and long-term existence of the CIO role.
My new book, Disrupt IT, discusses how the gap between the capability of the IT function and the expectations of the rest of the business has opened up and also explains why in my view there is still an important and valuable role for the CIO and the IT function in the digital business.
But CIOs need to act now to close the gap. And it is not just an act of self-preservation; having a CIO and IT function that is being bypassed by the rest of the business will be damaging to the organisation in the long-term.
To address the gap we need to re-think what the IT function does, how it is structured and what skills and resources it has. In short, we need a new type of IT function. And to lead this new IT function we need a new type of CIO, one that can play a leading role in shaping the digital future of their organisation. And, because both the CIO and the IT department are already behind the curve, struggling to keep up with the increasing demands of the rest of the digital business, this new model has to be radical; it has to be disruptive.
In Disrupt IT, I define a new model for IT that meets the needs of the digital business. The model is both radical and disruptive. I have also identified seven principles that can be used to guide the transformation of the CIO role and the IT function to establish this new model. As the exact shape, structure and size of the new IT function will vary by organisation the seven principles provide a framework for CIOs and Boards to use when building the IT capability their organisation needs.
The first three principles cover the CIO role whilst principles four, five and six apply to the IT function. Recognising that change is also needed outside of the IT department, the seventh principle is aimed at the Board and the wider organisation to ensure they maximise the benefits from the new model for IT.
The book is primarily aimed at CIOs and senior IT managers as a guide to transforming their own roles and their IT functions. It is also relevant to Board members and other members of the C-suite who will need to support the transformation process, make changes within their own areas and understand and endorse the new roles of the CIO and the IT function. It will also provide a useful resource for consultants, advisers and vendors working with organisations to create an IT capability for the digital age.
Disrupt IT is available from Amazon in print and Kindle formats. Country links are listed below: