A blueprint for the future of IT

Disrupt  IT infographic headerIn February I published Disrupt IT, a book that defines a new model for IT that meets the needs of the digital business. The model is both radical and disruptive; it has to be as IT functions themselves are being disrupted and, as corporate history has shown us, the only way to survive disruption is to reinvent yourself. Companies that do nothing when their markets are being disrupted, and those that make only minor changes to their business model, rarely survive for long.

The underlying model for how IT departments are structured, organised and managed, the types of resources and skills they have, and the way in which they interact with the rest of the business on a day-to-day basis is 20-30 years old. But technology has changed massively since that time. In the last 5-10 years alone we have seen the arrival of social, mobile, cloud, consumerisation and big data, which have changed the technology landscape beyond recognition. And these disruptive technologies have also changed how consumers and businesses are using technology, and they are enabling new business models, products and services.

Disrupt IT Infographic

But the CIO and the IT department have not kept pace with these changes and are at risk of being bypassed as a result; the disruptive technologies that are driving the digital revolution are also providing the rest of the business with an alternative to their CIO and IT function. And this is why the new model for IT needs to be a radical and fundamental change from the old way of running IT functions.

To provide an overview of this new model I have put together an infographic (click image to enlarge) based on the slides I use when I give talks about the need to disrupt IT.  The infographic provides a high level comparison of the current Technology and Service Provider model against the new Technology and Service Broker model that I describe in detail in my book.

It also lists the 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. And I have included some examples of companies that are already operating in a way that is consistent with at least some of the principles.

Recognising that the journey from Technology and Service Provider to Technology and Service Broker could be a long one, I also provide those who attend my presentations with six actions they can implement immediately to lay the foundations for the transformation. These actions are summarised below:

  1. Start a conversation with your CEO/board to build a shared vision of the type of IT function your organisation needs.
  2. Assess your team so that you know whether they have the right capabilities for the Technology and Service Broker model.
  3. Develop you network with internal and external stakeholders.
  4. Assess your brand to determine whether you are perceived as a techie or as a business leader.
  5. Personal development will help develop the knowledge and skills required to be a digital CIO so start developing your own plan now.
  6. Cloud and partner first should be the default position for all new solutions and services.

I hope you find the infographic useful and that it provides you with a blueprint for building the right type of IT capability for your organisation in the digital age.

If you have any questions or comments about the infographic, the new model for IT or the seven principles, or if you would like any advice, support or guidance on implementing changes within your organisation then please get in touch with me via the contact details on this site. I also welcome any feedback, observations and lessons from organisations that adopt the new model for IT.

Disrupt IT is available from Amazon in print and Kindle formats. Country links are listed below: UKUSAustraliaBrazilCanadaFranceGermanyIndiaItalyMexicoJapanSpain


  1. Reblogged this on Jason Noble – adventures in excellence and commented:
    Where on the disruption journey are you? Interesting read.


  1. […] of the people, process and technology issues spanning the full business lifecycle.  With the right type of CIO, the position becomes the natural focus point for defining and executing the broader digital agenda […]

  2. […] different skills and experience and the IT function is moving from being a service provider to a technology broker. Transforming the organisation’s IT capability is a key component of its journey to becoming a […]


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