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Design Your IT Organization for the Future

Deliver on your most critical objectives with a strategically aligned IT structure.

Aligning your IT resources in the right structure is critical as:

  • It ensures that the organization structure will support the delivery of the strategy.
  • Resources can be easily developed or distributed to flex with changes in trends.
  • It can eliminate gaps in service delivery to consistently meet or exceed stakeholder expectations.
  • It increases the overall effectiveness of the IT team.
  • It attracts and retains top IT talent.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Organizations that succeed in designing the right IT organizational structure do more than just moving boxes and lines on a page. They provide teams with clarity around how they will interact and collaborate to deliver on critical outcomes.
  • IT organizations excelling today aren't waiting for the right person to join their IT organization. They design the right teams and develop their workforce.
  • Organizations creating, driving, and succeeding in digital transformation don’t consider the organizational structure a stagnant place. They constantly refine it to evolve with the changing organization needs.

Impact and Result

Designing the right IT organization structure that:

  • Sits upon an operating model foundation that dictates how IT should function.
  • Ensures that functional work teams and reporting relationships are clearly defined.
  • Establishes the right span of control to support the objectives of the teams and desired culture.
  • Provides employees with clear ways of working to eliminate confusion and redundancy.

Design Your IT Organization for the Future Research & Tools

1. Design Your IT Organization for the Future – Architect the right IT structure and always deliver on enterprise objectives.

This storyboard is a step-by-step guide on how to design the right IT organizational structure to ensure objectives are always achieved. From the strategic decisions on how teams need to be organized to the tactile ways of working, ensure that the IT structure is explicit and adoptable.

2. Capability Definition & Operating Model Archetypes – A tool to help ensure the right capabilities are aligned to the right functional area.

If you have not completed the Visualize the IT Operating Model blueprint, consider these archetypes and which might best reflect your organization’s future state before proceeding.

3. IT Organizational Design RACI Chart – A tool to define which capabilities below to which functional team and the tasks that make up those capabilities.

Use this tool to help your organization better understand what tasks are typically related to what capability. Additionally, provide work units with clarity around responsibility vs. accountability expectations.

4. Employee Organizational Design Playbook – A ready-to-use template for communicating the changes of the organizational design to employees.

Stop changing on paper alone. Use this playbook to give employees clear direction on what will be expected of them and their role as they adopt the new organizational structure. Use the first section of this template to communicate the executive summary to other stakeholders in the organization.

5. IT Organizational Chart Catalog – A tool that can be used to explore and reference different IT organizational structures.

Leverage this catalog as a tool for your organization when you are considering the typical reporting structures other organizations have adopted. There is no right or wrong way to structure the organizational chart.

6. IT Critical Processes Catalog – A tool that can be referenced when trying to identify and map the flows for your organization’s most critical processes.

Refer to this catalog when looking to identify and document the various process flow diagrams that different teams will need to refer to. Constantly consider where the ways of working (communication, collaboration, and education) can be enhanced or more clearly defined.


Member Testimonials

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this blueprint and what our clients have to say.

9.4/10


Overall Impact

$74,622


Average $ Saved

28


Average Days Saved

Client

Experience

Impact

$ Saved

Days Saved

State Universities Retirement System Of Illinois

Guided Implementation

8/10

$2,599

5

A slightly different perspective on the role we are contemplating for strategy in the PMO. Will help inform a better job description.

KabaFusion

Guided Implementation

10/10

$12,999

10

ETE Reman /dba Engine & Transmission Exchange Inc.

Guided Implementation

10/10

$12,999

20

BEST: Meeting and working with Allison at LIVE 2023 WORST: Not being able to keep up with the pace of the project due to involvement in other doze... Read More

General Dynamics Mission Systems, Inc

Workshop

10/10

$129K

50

Best part: The interactive dialogue among the leadership team when discussing key areas throughout the workshop. Worst part: Defining the roles ... Read More

Corporation Of The City Of Victoria, The

Guided Implementation

10/10

$1M

120

If we get this right, this is going to save the City a lot of money and increase our efficiencies and reduce waste.

Corix Infrastructure Inc.

Guided Implementation

10/10

$27,500

20

Allison was a pleasure to work with. She is very knowledgeable on the subject matter and really challenged us to think through our organizational s... Read More

County of Chesterfield, Virginia

Guided Implementation

10/10

$12,999

32

For initial call without prior introduction, we were able to leverage valuable reference materials that informed related topics of conversation wit... Read More

Correctional Service of Canada

Workshop

10/10

$100K

20

Excellent conversation. Very well facilitated. We walked away having made a few key decisions and having made a concrete plan for next steps. No wo... Read More

Mencap

Guided Implementation

9/10

$9,000

5

Excellent engagement with really helpful advice and the right level of challenge with understanding. Thanks Sidney

Hume City Council

Guided Implementation

10/10

$23,649

12

The ability to discuss views thoughts and approaches with the team and seek tangible input and advice without need to fully outsource has been real... Read More

Duquesne University

Workshop

10/10

$6,499

32

Great content, contextualized perfectly, and with expert faciliation. (Thank you, Chuck French! Also, thanks to Allison Straker for all the exper... Read More

Alabama Department of Environmental Management

Workshop

10/10

N/A

10

Hume City Council

Guided Implementation

10/10

$18,849

5

Feld Entertainment, Inc.

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

N/A

We're just getting started and I didn't do my homework well enough. However, Ross was able to give me excellent guidance on InfoTech tools and res... Read More

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality

Guided Implementation

10/10

$129K

50

The best part was Monica's systematic approach to assisting me in redesigning my organization for success. In my discussions with Monica and the to... Read More

Kitsap Credit Union

Workshop

10/10

$11,699

20

The facilitation was flexible and structured it to what we needed and it gave time spent more valuable. Had it in our head what we want to do, walk... Read More

District Municipality Of Muskoka

Workshop

10/10

$8,000

14

Best - the amount we got through in such a short time. Value add - team building / team consensus. Worst - now having to complete the rest of the... Read More

Municipality of Chatham-Kent

Guided Implementation

8/10

N/A

N/A

Valence has guided us through a strategic discussion of where our competencies should align in our team. This will help ensure our staffing remains... Read More

Community Health Choice, Inc.

Workshop

10/10

N/A

N/A

The overall workshop was very good and brought great value on rethinking how we should structure our division to be more efficient. Only recommend... Read More

Institute of Public Accountants

Guided Implementation

9/10

N/A

N/A

No worst parts. I enjoy learning from Annabel, she's extremely knowledgeable and good at breaking things down to manageable chunks.

The Corporation of the City of Kingston

Workshop

8/10

$50,000

35

Alabama Department of Labor (ADOL)

Workshop

10/10

$129K

20

The best was the ad hoc conversations that customized the solution for our organization and not just a generic solution.

SUNS LEGACY PARTNERS, LLC

Guided Implementation

10/10

$12,999

23

Earlham College

Guided Implementation

8/10

$12,999

1

Excellent questions and guidance during this initial discovery session.

Transport Canada

Workshop

8/10

$10,000

5

Al-Amthal Financing Company

Guided Implementation

8/10

$14,500

10

Not yet completed

Correctional Service of Canada

Workshop

8/10

$70,000

10

Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada

Workshop

9/10

$500K

100

Best Parts: Outcome, Common Understanding, Buy-in from Team Members, Objective 3rd party opinion and insights from work with other similar organiz... Read More

Darling Ingredients

Workshop

9/10

$32,499

10

My experience overall was very positive. My ask of Sid and Craig was to be flexible. As the meeting and the conversation developed, we needed th... Read More

Seattle Housing Authority

Workshop

8/10

N/A

N/A

This isn't an endeavor where we are looking to save money or time. It is more for alignment with the business.


IT Organizational Design

Improve performance through a fit-for-purpose organizational design.

This course makes up part of the People & Resources Certificate.

Now Playing:
Academy: IT Organizational Design | Introduction

An active membership is required to access Info-Tech Academy
  • Course Modules: 7
  • Estimated Completion Time: 1.5 hours
  • Featured Analysts:
  • Brittany Lutes – Research Director

Workshop: Design Your IT Organization for the Future

Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Provide Teams and Roles Purpose

The Purpose

  • Organize the IT capabilities into clear and purposeful team structures and identify the necessary resources to deliver on each team objective.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Alignment of the IT structure to the IT operating model and future vision.
  • Employee-defined purpose statements that clearly and concisely articulate what each functional team is intended to deliver on.
  • Allocation of responsibility vs. accountability for each of the IT capabilities.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Categorize your IT capabilities within your defined functional work units.

  • Capabilities organized into functional groups.
1.2

Create a mandate statement for each work unit.

  • Functional work unit mandates.
1.3

Define roles inside the work units and assign accountability and responsibility.

  • Roles with clear responsibilities and accountabilities.
1.4

Assign roles with task-specific activities most critical to their success.

Module 2: Build the Organizational Chart

The Purpose

  • Build on each of the necessary components to define the organizational chart to have a visual and clear reporting chart.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Identify where your talent gap exists and if resources can be developed or hired to fill that gap.
  • Establish the desired span of control for your organization and the culture you are striving to achieve within the IT group.
  • Create an easy-to-read reporting structure in the form of an organizational chart.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Identify the talent gap to determine resource forecasting projections.

  • Forecasting of resource demand vs. availability.
2.2

Estimate the cost to buy or build the necessary roles.

  • Cost to grow or develop the IT organization.
2.3

Define the desired span of control.

  • Desired span of control for each team.
2.4

Allocate resources to their reporting manager and finalize the organizational chart.

  • Organizational chart with reporting relationships.

Module 3: Establish Clear Ways of Working

The Purpose

  • To prevent only changing on paper, provide employees with clear flow diagrams on how they will deliver value daily.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Critical processes for each of the functional areas will be defined.
  • The steps employees must take to deliver on those processes will be documented.
  • Employees will successfully understand when they must communicate, collaborate, or educate with different roles or teams.

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Critical processes defined and documented against each functional work unit.

  • Critical process flow diagrams for employees to follow.
3.2

Process flow diagrams to highlight communication, collaboration, and education across roles and teams.

3.3

Role-specific process flow diagrams.

Module 4: Communicate Changes and Obtain Buy-In

The Purpose

  • Highlight the changes that will be taking place and present these changes in easy-to-read formats for employees and stakeholders alike.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Articulate the planned changes.
  • Communicate the changes to those most impacted – employees – and provide them with clear next steps on how they should behave to deliver on those changes.
  • Identify and mitigate critical risks before they happen.

Activities

Outputs

4.1

Define the transition plan.

  • Transition plan
4.2

Create the change communication message.

  • Change communication message
4.3

Create a standard set of FAQs.

  • Standard FAQs
4.4

Identify and mitigate key org. design risks.

  • Risk mitigation plan

Design Your IT Organization for the Future

Deliver on your most critical objectives with a strategically aligned IT structure.

Analyst Perspective

Establishing clear ways of working will allow the organizational structure to thrive.

For many organizations, designing the right IT structure usually begins with adjusting the organizational chart. Reimagining the lines and boxes that exist. However, this is a false attempt at an organizational redesign.

True organizational design explores the ways in which employees will be expected to work daily, delivering on their role-specific value. It is founded on an operating model that can consistently articulate how IT delivers on the strategic objectives of the organization. Furthermore, it provides employees with clarity on how they get their job done. From whom they collaborate with, to critical communication opportunities, to shared knowledge across teams and practices. Employees are empowered to deliver their best work and not second-guess their responsibilities.

Moreover, this process is increasingly more effective when employees are included. From creating their team's purpose statement to documenting the processes they lead or support, actively including employees in the organizational redesign will always enable a faster adoption of the organizational structure.

Questions for support transition

Brittany Lutes
Research Director, CIO Organization Transformation Practice
Info-Tech Research Group

Executive Summary

Your Challenge Common Obstacles Info-Tech's Approach
The future state of the organization requires IT to restructure and realign its resources to:
  • Be aligned with the direction of the organization.
  • Establish built-in flexibility for changing needs or trends.
  • Meet or exceed stakeholder expectations.
  • Eliminating gaps in service delivery.
  • Increase team effectiveness.
  • Attract and retain skilled employees.
Designing the right IT structure is difficult to achieve because often:
  • There is too much emphasis on making changes to the organizational chart only.
  • People's roles change on paper and not in practice.
  • Leadership defines the new structure without leveraging employee feedback during the process.
  • Redesigning the structure is used to solve ' or worse cover up ' unrelated problems.
Designing the right IT organization can be achieved by:
  • Providing teams with a clear purpose and specifying the roles necessary to deliver on that purpose.
  • Estimating the right number of resources and allocating those resources to the appropriate manager.
  • Defining how roles will interact with one another across teams to meet outcome expectations.
  • Implementing flexibility by design to continuously adapt to internal and external shifts.

Info-Tech Insight
Organizations that succeed in designing the right IT organizational structure do more than just moving boxes and lines on a page. They provide teams with clarity around how they will interact and collaborate to deliver on critical outcomes.

Your challenge

The IT organization must redesign and restructure in order to:

  • Ensure alignment with the organization's direction and business model.
  • Deliver on technology and digital strategies.
  • Meet or exceed the changing expectations that define what IT is responsible for.
  • Realize the importance of IT's role in delivering customer expectations.
  • Elevate IT from an order-taker role to a strategic business partner role.
  • Provide employees with clear ways of working.
  • Attract, retain, and develop critical IT talent.

'A well-executed organizational design process creates more efficient workflows, a better customer experience, and higher profit margins.'
' MasterClass, 2022

Globally, IT decision makers find the greatest skills challenge keeping up with the accelerated pace of changing technology, with 48% agreeing this is a top challenge.
Source: Equinix, '2023 Global Tech Trends Survey,' 2023.

Common obstacles

These obstacles prevent organizations from achieving the right IT structure:

  • Leaders focus on the organizational chart only, forgetting other critical elements of organizational design process.
  • The organizational redesign makes changes to employee's roles and teams on paper but not in practice.
  • Employees were not sought for their feedback or input during the process of designing the IT structure.
  • Organizational redesign was used to solve an unrelated problem.
  • Despite organizations wanting and willing to grow, there is insufficient talent readily available.
  • No one is held accountable if the organizational redesign efforts fail.

Poor process and limited resources make organizational design difficult

51% of organizations are completely ineffective at organizational design.
Source: Cathie Enders, 'Organization Design: The Secret to Scaling for Growth,' 2022

3.5 million

Of the 3.5 million job postings examined, there were half as many qualified people to fill that vacancy.
Source: McKinsey, 'Technology Trends Outlook 2023,' 2023.

Info-Tech's approach

By adopting these best practices your organizational design efforts will always be successful:

Treat organizational design as a critical step in the transformation process 'without it the transformation is not complete.

Ensure that employees are given the tools and skills to effectively operate in this new structure ' and reinforce those behaviors when demonstrated.

Engage employees and other stakeholders regularly to prevent rework and capture informal but critical steps in the delivering process.

Eliminate ambiguity as often as possible by ensuring that the responsibilities and accountabilities are clearly defined at team and role levels.

The Info-Tech difference:

  1. Provides teams with a clear purpose on how they deliver value to the organization.
  2. Estimates the right number of resources required to achieve demand from the organization.
  3. Defines the team ways of working to establish communication, collaboration, and hand-offs.
  4. Continues to be adjusted and updated to enable the right structure.

Design Your IT Structure for the Future

Organizational design defined

If your IT strategy is your map, your IT organizational structure represents the optimal path to get there.

IT organizational design refers to the process of aligning the organization's structure, processes, metrics, and talent to the organization's strategic plan to drive efficiency and effectiveness.

Why is the right IT organizational design so critical to success?
Adaptability is at the core of staying competitive today Structure is not just an organizational chart Organizational design is a never-ending process
Digital technology and information transparency are driving organizations to reorganize around customer responsiveness. To remain relevant and competitive, your organizational design must be forward-looking and ready to adapt to rapid pivots in technology or customer demand. The design of your organization dictates how roles function within their teams. This is usually the most difficult part in organizational design. As a result, leaders are quick to skip or loosely define (Kathi Enderes, 2022). Structure supports strategy, but strategy also follows structure. Organization design is not a one-time project but a continuous, dynamic process of organizational self-learning and continuous improvement. Landing on the right operating model will provide a solid foundation to build upon as the organization adapts to new challenges and opportunities.

Phases of the IT organizational design journey defined

Organizational design is the process in which the structure is intentionally aligned to the strategy. It considers how people should be arranged to deliver on critical work.

Operating Model Organizational Structure Organizational Chart
The operating model provides an architectural blueprint of how IT capabilities are organized to deliver value. The placement of the capabilities can alter the culture, delivery of the strategic vision, governance model, and engagement of stakeholders. The organizational structure is the chosen way of aligning the core processes to deliver. This can be strategic, or it can be ad hoc. We recommend you take a strategic approach unless ad hoc aligns to your culture and delivery method. The capstone of this change initiative is an easy-to-read chart that visualizes the roles and reporting structure. Most organizations use this to depict reporting relationships and role vacancies.
Foundational & Long-Lasting Evolving & Ever-Fluctuating
Typically provides a direction for the organization for the next two to three years. Typically provides clarity on how IT roles work for the duration of an objective. Typically provides a reporting structure based on demand and desired span of control.

Steps to creating an organizational chart

An ever-evolving process required to meet changing needs and market trends.

Steps to creating an organizational chart

Deliver on your most critical objectives with a strategically aligned IT structure.

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

MEMBER RATING

9.4/10
Overall Impact

$74,622
Average $ Saved

28
Average Days Saved

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve.

Read what our members are saying

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Guided Implementation 1: Design the Work Teams and Role Profiles
  • Call 1: Understand your current state and objectives to redesign the IT structure.
  • Call 2: Establish a unique and valuable team structure.

Guided Implementation 2: Build the Organizational Chart
  • Call 1: Identify roles within each team.
  • Call 2: Define the responsibilities and tasks required by each role.
  • Call 3: Estimate the talent gap to forecast future resource needs.
  • Call 4: Identify the ideal span of control for each team.

Guided Implementation 3: Establish Clear Ways of Working
  • Call 1: Assign resources to their reporting managers and build the organization chart.
  • Call 2: Document critical processes for each work unit and role.

Guided Implementation 4: Communicate Changes and Obtain Buy-In
  • Call 1: Create a plan to communicate changes and mitigate risks.
  • Call 2: Evaluate employees’ readiness to adopt the organizational structure.

Author

Brittany Lutes

Contributors

  • Gary Burke, Founder & Managing Director of RFH Transformational Change, UK
  • Emeline Forbes, Managing Director of Byte Transformation Worxs Inc.
  • Corey Norman, Future of Work Principal Consultant at CompanyBE
  • Glen Sloutsky, Founder and Principal Consultant at TORO Consulting

Plus 8 additional anonymous contributors who are C-suite IT leaders

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