Strategy or routine operations - Binary Thinking Hex No. 8

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Why has IT management become so cursed with Binary Thinking?

No. 8: The CIO needs to focus on strategy and ignore routine operations

Binary Thinking: CIOs should not waste their time on the trivial matter of keeping the IT machine running. These days the issues in running IT are well understood and should be left to subordinates. If necessary a CIO can appoint a CTO to look after technology. Instead the CIO should be a business strategist and spend most of their time sitting with the CEO and the board and:

  • talk about social media and new consumer devices,
  • agree the budget for replacing all existing IT equipment with public cloud services and
  • consider what questions could be answered through Big Data once the management hierarchy has been made obsolete by collaboration and gamification.

Portfolio Insight: Conceptually, execution without strategy is inefficient in the long term and strategy without execution is irrelevant. In theory these disciplines can be carried out in isolation but the strongest results come from linking both together. In practice, if there is an IT related crisis or IT services are out of control then operational matters will dominate the CIO’s time. The CIO’s executive peers will ensure that this is the case. Through developing a great team and delivering high quality services a CIO creates the time and earns the right to engage in higher level activities.

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