Why has IT management become so cursed with Binary Thinking? No. 4: The CIO will soon be obsolete or indispensable Binary Thinking: Computing and communication technologies are becoming commodities which means that specialist IT skills and all of the management structures around them will no longer be needed. General managers can satisfy their IT needs from the consumer market place in the same way they can get their home PCs and mobile phones. Unfortunately, in the not too distant future, the performance of any organisation will depend on how they use information, other sources of competitive advantage will cease to be important and only CIOs and other IT leaders will be qualified to lead enterprises.
Why has IT management become so cursed with Binary Thinking? No. 3: IT is internal or outsourced Binary Thinking: Organisations can get their IT services from an internal IT department or they can dispense with their IT department and their CIO and get all of their IT services under contract from an IT outsourcer.
Why has IT management become so cursed with Binary Thinking? No. 2: Control of IT can be centralised or distributed Binary Thinking: CIOs need to make a fundamental decision for their organisation. Either they will control all IT staff, assets and projects across the enterprise centrally or they will delegate everything out to local managers on a geographic and/or business-line basis. Unless a CIO chooses the centralised option they should probably resign.
When Alan Turing was developing his ideas about computing he was not constrained by the binary number system so why has IT management become so cursed with Binary Thinking?
Why has IT management become so cursed with Binary Thinking? No. 1: There is IT and there is business Binary Thinking: Everything that exists within an organisation (strategies, policies, processes, people, teams, assets, budgets, requirements, projects etc) can have a label of “IT” or “Business”. Nothing can carry both labels. Organisations need to work hard to make sure all of the “IT” things and “business” things are aligned but merging any of these things would be a mistake. Usually “business” people prevent “IT” people from participating in “business” activities. If “business” people work with “IT” suppliers it is bound to cause problems.