- IT leaders have been told by the media, vendors, and analyst community that their role is changing from technology leader to technology strategist, from producer to enabler. Many struggle to reconcile this view with their limited budgets, aging technologies, and growing backlog of unsatisfied user needs.
- Day-to-day issues take more time than they should, which leaves too little time for strategic leadership.
- Because strategic initiatives invariably create long lasting development, operational, supplier, and HR challenges, IT leaders find it difficult to remain focused on them.
- IT leaders face management challenges as they strive to deliver evolutionary and revolutionary changes under spending constraints.
There are three external forces currently driving where IT leaders focus attention:
- Financial constraints are impairing the IT leader’s responsiveness to threats, opportunities, and staff turnover. This pushes the leader’s focus towards cost containment, resource management, and budget projections.
- Utility computing and SaaS are gradually eroding the CIO’s empire of physical, software, and human assets. This drives a near-term focus on managing a substantial change to IT that threatens the long-term redefinition of IT’s role.
- Globalization, disintermediation, competition, and economics have intensified corporate speed-to-market expectations for IT enablement of business needs. The IT leader is pressured to take a meaningful seat at the corporate strategy table.
Impact and Result
IT leaders reading this material will be compelled to take the following actions:
- Delegate real authority to their direct reports in order to get out of the day-to-day IT issues.
- Diminish their involvement in vendor relationships to free up more time for leadership activities.
- Deepen their commitment to understanding and shaping the strategic business vision.