Global CIO: Welcome To The CIO Revolution: A New IT Manifesto
CIOs are rebelling against career stereotypes, technology paradigms, and in-bred risk-aversion to become aggressive drivers of innovation, growth, and market engagement.
4) What's the greatest accomplishment of you and your team in the past 12 months? And what's the second-greatest? Would you be proud to stand in front of 300 of your peers at, say, the InformationWeek 500 Conference and describe those achievements? Or would you decline such an opportunity because, well, due to a variety of circumstances that really got underway years ago that you "inherited" and that are out of your control and that you'd fix were it not for the tough economy and then again your headcount is down so really the most you can do is tread water and after all life's tough for your competitors too so maybe they're also in suspended animation and have been for the past 18 months just like you so how in the world could anyone blame you for proclaiming that hunkering down and keeping your job were your two greatest achievements of the past year? If you're not proud of your top achievements, how can your customers be? Or your boss and your colleagues? This is no way to run a revolution!
5) While not everyone is cut out to be the first over the ramparts, do you feel you've got a good sense of the massive changes taking place in all sectors of the industry? Do you see that, all around you, CIOs at companies large and small are tearing up the tired old formulas and policies and diving into new and sometimes-untried IT approaches that can deliver strategic breakthroughs? As InformationWeek editor Chris Murphy wrote yesterday in a Global CIO blog post, "Microsoft’s Stephen Elop, who leads its business division, articulated this recently, telling Cnet "we're at some form of generational shift into this world of software plus services.” It goes well beyond Mr. Benioff touting the “end of software,” though it was kind of him to get the discussion started. It’s Microsoft putting Office profits in play on an unproven model. It’s SAP, despite some cold feet over the SaaS model, deciding to build an ecosystem of software services around its ERP, before CIOs do that themselves with Salesforce, Workday, and a world of other SaaS apps. Its Salesforce trying to be a platform, for apps as complex a electronic medical records. And it's Google feeling sufficiently bold--or as likely, threatened--that it ramped up the publicity push for business users while it still has the advantage over Office of online access." If you're going with the same cookie-cutter approaches as all your competitors are using, you might not ever lose – but you will surely never win.
6) One of the world's top CIOs, Guy Chiarello of JPMorgan Chase, described in this week's InformationWeek cover story that infrastructure innovation these days is deeply strategic and serves as the only way to stay ahead of aggressive competitors and abreast of rapidly shifting customer demands and requirements. As InformationWeek's Mary Hayes wrote, "By acquiring a big chunk of WaMu's business for $1.9 billion, including its prized West Coast branches and its pile of bad home loans, JPMorgan Chase already has boosted its revenue in retail banking and consumer lending. It upgraded to IBM's Z10 systems shortly after the acquisition, creating a mainframe infrastructure that can handle current volume and create capacity on demand so that the company could more quickly absorb WaMu's portfolio and customer data and have more efficient capacity for when business picks up. While some CIOs have put the brakes on IT infrastructure initiatives, Chiarello's team has been busy investing time and money in hardware, refreshing and in some cases virtualizing desktops and servers throughout the company. Upper-hand negotiations with vendors are providing what he estimates are 25% savings over what he would've paid for new hardware during better times, setting price points that will be hard for vendors to ratchet back up when the economy turns around." If the economy starts to improve in several months, and your CEO comes up to you and says it's time to light up all those great new customer-embracing projects you've been working on, will your only answer be that, uh, sorry boss but all those projects have been on ice for the past 20 months because I wanted to show the CFO that he could count on me to hold down spending?
7) Another very bright guy over at InformationWeek, Alex Wolfe, advocated yesterday that the venerable (and expensive) enterprise notebook computer might have outlived its usefulness. How does that square with your thinking? Is your "Computing Device 2010" strategy pretty much a mirror image of the same one you cobbled together in 2007 and 2008 and 2009, or have you and your team really started to dig into the pros and cons and best approaches to smartphones and netbooks and virtualized desktops? As Wolfe writes, "Hey, if cloud and SaaS mean anything, it should be big savings by bagging the self-hosted software paradigm. How about you give your workers $500 each to buy a netbook instead, and they can support themselves? Workers tethered to an office can use a thin client, or -- perish the thought -- a desktop computer.