Infrastructure
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4/15/2005
02:52 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
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Business Technology: The Biggest Threat To Your Career

You're still spending 75% of your IT budget on maintenance, your CEO still treats you as a bit of an outsider, and the closest you get to strategic involvement is implementing it rather than helping develop it. If you don't see the interlinked connections among those three conditions, Bob Evans says, then it's time to wake up.

And therein, he said, lies an enormous opportunity for CIOs who are able to begin hacking aggressively at the 70% or 75% of their budgets that get poured into maintenance and push more of that into innovation: Those leaders, Prahalad said, can become the custodians of their companies' business processes as they help create the tools that allow those processes to become explicit and manageable, rather than tacit and obscured.

"The great thing," Prahalad said, "is that right now in most companies, business process is an orphan, so CIOs have a great chance to adopt it."

So, we've come full circle: from rapacious beasts looking to disembowel your career to cuddly little orphans looking for a home. The happy ending's certainly possible -- not easy, by any means, and certainly fraught with some nontrivial risks. But in your job, that's hardly a novel condition.

As for the alternative, well, although the slime-dripping monster's been around for a while, until now at least it was your monster, and your nightmare. Going forward, though, the monster has a potential partner who could make that nightmare even worse: your CEO. So it's probably high time to wake up and exterminate the basement. After all, after the adoption happens, you're going to need the extra room.


To discuss this column with other readers, please visit Bob Evans's forum on the Listening Post.

To find out more about Bob Evans, please visit his page on the Listening Post.

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