Monthly Archives: September 2011

Toto—I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore: The hard reality that IT is not what it used to be…

By |September 19th, 2011|Categories: Change|Tags: , , |Comments Off on Toto—I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore: The hard reality that IT is not what it used to be…

How IT has worked forever is coming to a slow or fast end, depending on where you work. If you are paying attention, there are subtle signs of its demise everywhere. For example, gone are the good ole days when an IT professional would spend an entire Sunday fixing the VP’s Blackberry. Now a nice person in India walks the VP through the myriad steps to reboot or reconfigure. Another proof point—IT colleagues are posting new titles on LinkedIn like “Business Strategist” or “Innovation Lead” or “Electronic Design Engineer”…Oh my! Dorothy said it best, “Toto—I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

Alas, the rumor is true; IT as we know it is done. Today IT is evolving into something else, and, as with all transitions, it sucks. Yes, I said “sucks” —because that is generally how most people feel about change, and this is particularly true when there is no clear destination or roadmap of how to get there.

Here is what we know for sure: IT’s core stock in trade can no longer be solely fixing or building things, given the surfeit of quality managed service providers that can do the fixin’ 24/7. And, with the advent of the “cloud” (you may have hoped this would drift away…but it’s here to stay) access to constantly updated information and customizable applications is just a pass code away.

Today IT is becoming an entire business within a business. Much like an R&D department, we are expected to conduct research, discovery, and testing that will lead to business solutions. These solutions will be either at our customers’ explicit direction, or, like Professor Marvel, we will peer into our crystal ball and see what they need before they even
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September: Conscious Planning… IT Planning Season Has Begun

By |September 1st, 2011|Categories: Planning|Tags: , , |Comments Off on September: Conscious Planning… IT Planning Season Has Begun

Although strategy determines IT’s focus and direction, it’s planning that drives execution. And, despite the obvious importance of planning, very few IT organizations do it, other than to create a list of projects they hope to focus on. That’s not planning—that’s a wish list. We could argue for hours about the myriad reasons IT organizations lack a robust annual planning process, but it all comes down to needing to know how to do it, and having the discipline to do it once you know how.

In an effort to make planning less overwhelming, every month I am going to provide in this space a guide for the upcoming month. This guide will include a checklist and a set of questions that every IT leader should contemplate to be successful in 2012.

The first step to IT planning is aligning the IT calendar to the corporate calendar. If you are like most of our clients, the corporate financial calendar is based on the yearly calendar. This makes September the most critical time of the year in terms of planning for the following year’s success. Therefore, from a corporate calendar perspective (January through December), the first month in an annual planning calendar should be September.

September has begun, and, with the Labor Day holiday, we’re all probably behind schedule already. It’s time to get back to work—there is little time to be wasted. Here is where I recommend you begin:

September Theme: Alignment

To do:

Determine what 2011 projects are slipping
Ascertain what needs to happen to complete 2011 projects
Focus resources on completing those projects
Arrange for face-to-face meetings with divisional leadership. The objective is to hear and engage with each business unit regarding its objectives for 2012.
Immediately following these meetings, the IT business
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