After years of enduring, ignoring, or deflecting salvos of criticism about whether they’re adding value, IT leaders are donning their armor again. CIOs, CTOs, and other technology leaders are weary of questions about shifting ownership boundaries, role debates, shadow IT, and whether or not they deserve a seat at the leadership table.
Newly challenged with leading their companies into the digital future, these IT leaders are done with playing defense and are now not only standing their ground, but charging forward into the brave new world of innovation.
This is about the time I pull out a pithy Sun Tsu aphorism, but I’ll spare you. I’ve been watching my clients over the past few years and the change in IT is nothing short of staggering.
With the onset of cloud computing, the ubiquity of handheld devices, and digital everything, the traditional IT organization is having an identity crisis. The plight of commoditization has hit IT squarely between the “I," as information becomes the new business currency, and shadow IT its big spender.
A revolution in enterprise IT could mean a new level of prestige for the CIO. Or it could mean extinction. In my latest book, The New IT: How Technology Leaders are Enabling Business Strategy in the Digital Age (McGraw-Hill, 2015) I write about the conundrums confronting both IT and business executives in the 21st century. I wanted to forge a clear path for ensuring IT’s ongoing relevance while creating a realistic and culturally-viable model for its future.
Jill has penned a de Toquevillean map of the digital world. Should be a required text for every business leader in the country.
Thornton May Futurist and Author of The New Know
The book profiles real-life change agents weighing in on IT’s future. These are executives who have successfully straddled the business-IT divide, and they work for companies like Brooks Brothers, Union Bank, Mylan, Men’s Wearhouse, and Toyota, among others.
The New IT doesn’t offer simplified constructs for IT, but rather seeks to map cultural norms and entrenched behaviors toward a deliberate evolution. A series of self-assessments help readers determine as-is and desired states, and tactics for launching their own organizations’ renewal.
It’s time to dismantle the long-guarded notion that enterprise IT is a monolithic cadre into which only geeks and geniuses are admitted. The new IT should be informed by the company’s culture, strategy, and brand, and overseen by a new breed of soldiers ready to go on the offensive.
We’re looking for recruits. You in? Here's your first assignment:
See you on the field.