Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What Does the Leader of Tomorrow’s Technology Look Like?

Noetic Labs has spent a great deal of time researching and building models regarding the transformation of IT over to a business service centric model. Forrester calls this the IT to BT transformation, while Gartner doesn’t specifically call this out but does state the need for the CIO to be more in tune with the business. Tomorrow’s Technology Leader will look more like the CEO than ever before. They will possess more business sense and a better grasp of financial modeling. Additionally they will report less to operating and financial leaders and directly to the CEO. What is leading to this transformation? The simple answer is technology itself is driving this metamorphosis. Technology platforms are blurring the line between IT and business functions. With the emergence of Software as a Service and Cloudsourcing many organizations have less reliance on traditional IT models and more reliance on models which serve to understand and help drive business decisions. These implications have tremendous impact on IT structures. This change starts with the leaders of IT and trickles down to the rest of the organization. Below are a couple points I envision which will define the transformation.
  • Traditional – IT kept the lights on.
  • Future- IT invents and innovates products to grow the business.
  • Traditional – IT is a cost center which utilizes Total Cost of Ownership in evaluating projects.
  • Future – IT is a profit center which utilizes ROI to measure the value of investments.
  • Traditional – IT took requests thrown over the wall and found technologies or developed tools to accommodate.
  • Future – IT is engaged in marketing and new product development so far upstream that they have input on strategic decisions.
  • Traditional – IT did projects.
  • Future – IT engages in services which enables products.
The future model cannot rely on the IT leadership of the past. The new leader needs to model the IT organization no differently than how marketing ormanufacturing does. They need a seat at the leadership table and will be essential in producing an organization which produces the most value. Essentially the new IT leader needs to have a larger focus on running a successful organization and how to maximize overall value rather than reducing IT spend. Compiling these new types if IT leadership with Leanprocess control and proper cloudsourcing will result in an organization which will resemble the IT of today.
Look for us to tie this in with our process discussions over the next six months.

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