Gartner: tech complexity not greatest threat to CIOs

Gartner: tech complexity not greatest threat to CIOs

Summary: The most important and alarming point Gartner Fellow Richard Hunter repeated throughout his talk was that, on average, CIOs spend less than 1 percent of their budgets on managing risks related to the flexibility and agility of the IT organizations. That is, they do not work hard enough on the essential core competencies of IT--project, program, and process management.

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TOPICS: CXO
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The most important and alarming point Gartner Fellow Richard Hunter repeated throughout his talk hunter.jpgwas that, on average, CIOs spend less than 1 percent of their budgets on managing risks related to the flexibility and agility of the IT organizations. That is, they do not work hard enough on the essential core competencies of IT--project, program, and process management.  

During a session at the Gartner Symposium/IT Expo, Hunter talked about the impact of complexity on CIOs. He clarified early on that the term does not imply fault or failure; in fact, certain kinds of complexity indicate a sign of success for IT organizations.  Hunter pointed out that CIOs are now managing a bigger, more complex base of technology that they used to.  He said that a stable ratio of IT spending from 1997 through 2004 masks a massive jump in IT spending by about 50% for the same time period. Consequently, that requires bigger solutions and changes that, "add significant complexity in human terms to what is already increasingly complex in technology terms." And it's been coming faster than CIOs had expected. According to results from the 2004-5 EXP CIO surveys, CIOs have been getting more complexity than they had envisioned. But technological complexity is familiar territory to CIOs of large organizations.  Complexity is not a sign that something is wrong unless effectiveness is decreasing. To the contrary: "A large number of ongoing technical initiatives correlate to high business and IT effectiveness," said Hunter.  "People and process---not technology---are the keys to mastering new complexities." Hunter listed three important things CIOs need to do to move in the right direction:

  • Governance, which is about input and decision rights, hence roles and reponsibilties; hence people and process.
  • Reskilling the IT organization, especially to greater competency in project and management and to higher emotional IQ.
  • Making decisions about what to retain within IT and what to drop or outsource.

During his summary, Hunter also recommended CIOs to hire business people into the IT organization to improve the ability to manage new business-oriented complexity.

Topic: CXO

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  • CIO's Cannot Undermine Technology, Ever

    Im glad to read this little article, because it repesents exactly what I feel concerning technology today and how its affected the US.

    CIO's have been guilty of undermining technology the past couple years SEVERELY, as have most upper level managers and CEO's simply because they have attained the false assumption that technology is a minor supporter of their business.....one anyone overseas can do, or manage, and that it does not equate to innovation, profit, or competitiveness. Its just another tool. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

    Its now truly WONDERFUL to see CIO's trapped in between two pieces of bread (supportive and income driving roles in technology), where they deserve to be, finally. Welcome to the hot seat, fellas! It will be fun to see how they deal with it..........
    Talented and experienced IT and programming experts in the US have known the complexities of developing truly innovative and business-generating and business-supporting technologies. Thats what I do. We know that you cannot EVER indermine either the processes nor the budgets that support it, nor the demands it takes to implement it, nor the time and money it takes to build it, nor the dependence many companies have on it, nor the increasing role it plays in generating business sales and profits if you want reliable, high quality, amnaged and income generating technology at your beck and call. We have known this ALL ALONG, guys. Why has it taken CIO's all this outsourcing and budget-cutting to see this....thats what is truly baffling. Dont you have to have some planning skills to reach this position? Technology now IS the business for many companies, and to undercut it, devalue it, and outsource in any form is truly INSANE! If I ran a company today, I would put ALL my money into hiring top US talent in IT to continually support, manage, build, and most of all innovate new software and services to assist my company in this data-driven 21st century economy. And I certainly would not send busienss critical sensitive software develpment overseas, nor anything beyond minor supportive projects that lie completing outside the realm of my core IT staff. Thats crazy! In any form! If you want productivity, quality, and increased competitivenesss that will last the life of your company you have to hire loyal, talented educated creative US IT people to do that. Success lies in any company lies solely in hiring the best and brightest you can afford. Period! If you want innovation and quality, thats where you have to look....in your people, and you cant buy that in some foreign port.

    CIO's will now have to feel the pinch and backpeddle to catch up to the original vision of IT in the US and what it means to support all facets of that little gem in supporting the companies they work for. Good luck with that juggling act now.....you now reap that which you have sowed.
    wildranger