On not being subservient, part 2

Via Steve Jones, here’s another story that perfectly encapsulates the power of realising that a partnership approach between IT and business can drive real improvements in the return that you get from IT investment. In short: Steve’s associate (working in IT) found that a project he was responsible for wasn’t getting the business buy-in that…

On not being subservient

One of the the themes that came up time and time again in our interviews for the book was the importance of getting out of the mindset that the IT organisation is in existence to blindly serve requests from the business. Neil M dealt with this one a little in his last post. And now…

Two UK retailers decide to do without IT Directors

Just saw this story, courtesy of my colleague Martin Atherton (co-worker of book authors Jon Collins and Dale Vile). Martin asks: are these companies’ IT departments moving from being “suppliers” to “slaves”, or from “suppliers” to “integral parts of the business”? My hunch is the former, given the retail sector’s on-off successes with IT investments…

On IT architecture and gardening

James Tarbell has this great post, responding to one of the people we’ve interviewed in our research, James McGovern. James T calls out some very insightful similarities between architects and gardeners. My favourite: “You can get hung up on understanding the big latin words/technical terms or focus on requirements to achieve a result”.

Getting the right focus for IT Governance

I’ve long been a fan of Nick Malik’s blog – and indeed it was his blog that led me to ask him if he’d be happy to be interviewed for the book. In this post Nick nails quite a few aspects of IT governance, and explains how they fit in the context of embarking on…

Zachman Framework != Enterprise Architecture

I was talking earlier on to one of the people we interviewed for the book, outlining the main findings and getting some feedback. One of the main topics we focused on was the nature of Enterprise Architecture, and what characterises EA work “done right”. The person I was talking to relayed a conversation they had…

What characterises a service?

A couple of weeks ago I was party to another event, this time hosted by IBM. At short notice I was asked to facilitate a session on defining services, which was interesting in the extreme as it very quickly became clear in the earlier sessions that there was no clear definition of what a service…

CIO podcast from MWD with Peter Burggraaff

Here is the audio of what we hope will be a series of podcasts with CIOs who’ve instigated work to improve IT-business alignment in their organisations. The interview is between us two Neils (me and Macehiter) and New Zealand-resident Peter Burggraaff, until recently the CIO of NZ retail chain Farmers Trading Company. Peter talks to…

IT-business alignment at Credit Suisse

McKinsey has a very interesting interview (free subscription required) with Tom Sanzone, the CIO at Credit Suisse where he describes his approach to IT-business alignment. There are a number of points he raises which resonate well with the principles we outline in the book. He makes it very clear that a IT and business need…

Effective IT Summit 2007 story: 3PI

Paul Coby, CIO at British Airways kicked off the 2nd day of the conference, discussing IT-enabled business transformation at the airline. He was both engaging and honest (taking comments about lost baggage and queues at the online check-in bag drop on the chin). He outlined how BA set itself some ambitious transformational targets, – 100%…

Effective IT Summit 2007 story: Positioning IT to deliver business innovation

I spent the last couple of days in Cardiff at the Effective IT Summit 2007, courtesy of Information Age, which featured an interesting mix of future gazing and the current realities of IT in business. Myron Hrycyk, CIO at NYK Logistics (a 17,000 employee, $3.3B logistics provider) gave a very informative presentation describing the approach…

Maintenance, innovation and half-baked pies

I’m getting just a little bit bored of a certain slide that seems to appear in every single IT vendor’s enterprise pitch at the moment. It’s the one with the pie chart – where about 70% of the pie is allocated to “Maintenance” and about 30% relates to “Innovation”. The theory is that CIO’s are…