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Implement the Next-Generation IT Operating Model

The operating model for organizations embracing Exponential IT and transforming into technology-first enterprises.

IT is being challenged to change how it operates to better support evolving organizations by:

  • Considering the needs of customers, end users, and organizational stakeholders simultaneously.
  • Leveraging resources strategically to support the various IT and digital services being offered.
  • Creating a digital services enablement office that can design, monitor, and continuously enhance services.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • The role of IT is changing, and with that, how IT needs to operate to deliver value is also changing. Don’t get left behind with an irrelevant IT operating model.
  • Elevate your reputation as a leader beyond the CIO role. Mature your organization’s digital services by considering the customer experience first.
  • As recessions, disasters, and pandemics hit, don’t adopt old ways of operating with 2008 centralized models. Embrace a hybrid IT where value sets your organization apart.

Impact and Result

  • Embrace the Exponential IT Operating Model so you can:
    • Say “yes” to stakeholders trying to provide a better experience for customers and consumers.
    • Leverage data more effectively across your organization.
    • Consider how to integrate and deliver services using resources effectively and strategically.

Implement the Next-Generation IT Operating Model Research & Tools

1. Implement the Next-Generation IT Operating Model Deck – The next generation operating model for organizations embracing exponential IT.

This research piece is for any IT leaders looking to support the organization in its post-transformation state by focusing on the customer experience when operating. CIOs struggling with outdated IT operating models can demonstrate true partnership with this digital services next-generation IT operating model.

2. Exponential IT Operating Model Readiness Assessment – A tool to assess your organization’s readiness to adopt this next generation of IT operating models.

Use this tool to determine whether your organization has the fundamental components necessary to support the adoption of an Exponential IT operating model.

3. Career Vision Roadmap Tool – A template to create a simple visual roadmap of your desired career progression from CIO to chief digital services officer (CDSO).

Use this template to create a roadmap on how to transform your career from CIO to CDSO leveraging key strengths and relationships. Focus on opportunities to demonstrate IT’s maturity and the customer experience at the forefront of your decisions.

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Implement the Next-Generation IT Operating Model

The operating model for organizations embracing Exponential IT and transforming into technology-first enterprises.

Analyst Perspective

Be the organization that can thrive in an exponential IT world.

A picture of Carlene McCubbin A picture of Brittany Lutes

Carlene McCubbin
Research Practice Lead
CIO Organizational
Transformation Practice
Info-Tech Research Group

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

IT leaders are increasingly expected to be responsible for understanding and delivering high-value customer experiences. This evolution depends on the distribution and oversight of IT capabilities that are embedded throughout the organizational structure.

Defining digital strategic objectives, establishing governance frameworks for an autonomous culture, and enabling the organization to act on insightful data are all impossible without a new way of operating that involves the oversight and accountability of advancing IT roles. Through exponential change, functional groups can lose clarity regarding their responsibilities, creating a sense of ambiguity and disorder.

But adopting a new way of working that supports an exponential IT organization does not have to be difficult. Leveraging Info-Tech Research Group's next-generation operating model, you can clearly demonstrate how the organization will collaborate to deliver on the various digital and IT services. This is no longer just an IT operating model, but a technology-first enterprise model.

Included in this blueprint:

Exponential IT Model

Defines how the Exponential IT model operates and delivers value to the organization.
This is done by exploring:

  • Exponential IT cultural norms and behaviors
  • Opportunities and risks of the Exponential IT model
  • A breakdown of the embedded, integrated, and centralized aspects of the model
  • Operating model value stream stages
  • An assessment on whether the Exponential IT operating model is right for your organization

Changing Role of IT Leader

Defines how chief information officers (CIOs) can operate or elevate their role in this changing operating model.

  • Identifies why the C-suite is changing – again
  • How IT leaders should consider where they will add value in the new operating model
  • Outlines examples of future organization-wide structures and where IT roles are positioned
  • Supports IT leaders in developing themselves to operate in this structure

Executive Summary

Your Challenge

IT is challenged to change how it operates to better support evolving organizations. IT must:

  • Consider the needs of customers, end users, and organization stakeholders simultaneously.
  • Leverage resources strategically to support the various IT and digital services being offered.
  • Create a digital services enablement office to design, monitor, and enhance services continuously.

While many organizations have projects that support a digital strategy, few have an operating model that supports this digital services strategy.

Common Obstacles

Organizations struggle to support the definition and ongoing maintenance of services because:

  • The organization's Digital and IT services offerings are not clear.
  • The functional team accountable to deliver on each IT or Digital service is ambiguous.
  • There are insufficient resources to support all the IT and Digital services being offered.
  • C-suite leaders required to support the services are missing or in the wrong role to effectively lead.
  • Technology has not been standardized to ensure consistency and effectiveness.

Info-Tech's Approach

Embrace the IT operating model that focuses on the enablement and delivery of Digital and IT services by:

  • Having technology stakeholders actively collaborate to decide on priorities and deliver on objectives.
  • Leveraging data more effectively across the organization to understand and meet user needs.
  • Ensuring technology architecture and security standards are well-established and followed by all throughout the organization.
  • Allocating dedicated and skilled resources to ensure services can be continuously delivered.

Info-Tech Insight

The first IT operating model where customer engagement with IT and Digital Services is at the forefront.

What is an operating model?

An IT operating model is a visual representation of the way your IT organization will function using a clear and coherent blueprint. This visualization demonstrates how capabilities are organized and aligned to deliver on the business mission and strategic and technological objectives.

The should visualize the optimization and alignment of the IT organization to deliver the capabilities required to achieve business goals. Additionally, it should demonstrate the workflow so key stakeholders can understand where inputs flow in and outputs flow out of the IT organization. Investing time in the front-end to get the operating model right is critical. This will give you a framework to rationalize future organizational changes, allowing you to be more iterative and your model to change as the business changes.

An image of a sample Operating Model

Implement the Next-Generation IT Operating Model preview picture

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.


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Average $ Saved

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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

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

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Unlock Sample Research


Brittany Lutes

Carlene McCubbin


  • Donna Bales, Principal Research Director, Info-Tech
  • Scott Bickley, Vendor Management Practice Lead, Info-Tech
  • Christine Coz, Executive Counselor, Info-Tech
  • Valence Howden, Principal Research Director, Info-Tech
  • Duraid Ibrahim, Executive Counselor, Info-Tech
  • Chris Goodhue, Managing Partner, Info-Tech
  • Carlene McCubbin, CIO Practice Lead, Info-Tech
  • Mike Tweedie, CIO Practice Lead, Info-Tech
  • Vicki van Alphen, Executive Counsellor, Info-Tech
  • Plus five anonymous contributors
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