When the Suits Come Marching In

Heads up. The IT department is no longer a "suit"- free zone.
Heads up. The IT department is no longer a "suit"- free zone.While it's unlikely that neckties will become mandatory cubicle attire, change in another form is coming to IT departments.

Three CIOs interviewed by the Wall Street Journal Online last week agree that IT is taking on an increasingly strategic role and is becoming more focused on business.

The role of IT is changing "from fixing IT problems, which is internally focused, to being a catalyst for using technology to help the business perform better, which is externally focused" says Frank Modruson, head of research at Accenture Ltd.

Meg McCarthy, CIO of Aetna Inc. calls for non-IT managers to "get an orientation to their systems organization. I would also encourage non-IT leaders to spend time with their IT partners, particularly the architecture team during their strategic planning process. Have the architecture team look out three years and identify technologies that could be applied to the business to improve productivity or increase revenue."

Good idea. Now let's see IT managers get the same treatment: orientation to the business organization and time spent gaining a better understanding of internal and external business relationships, goals, and strategies. That way they'll be prepared to better tackle the business problems they are being asked to help resolve.

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