Are you a highly effective IT Ops leader?

Are you on the path to corporate irrelevancy? James Staten blogs.
Written by James Staten, Contributor

Pop quiz: How many of your company’s top business leaders do you talk to on a daily basis? How many know your name? And finally, how many of them do you engage to brainstorm on how to leverage the latest technologies to drive up revenues and profits?

If that was an uncomfortable test, it's time to wake up to the changing realities in today’s corporate world. If you aren’t having these types of conversations and instead your day is filled with managing the systems of record in your company, you may be on a path to corporate irrelevancy.

For the past year Forrester has been talking ad nauseam about the Empowered employee and their self-directed embrace of technology. As Forrester’s esteemed analysts on our Application Development & Delivery team have so clearly pointed out, it is these empowered employees who are creating the new systems of engagement our companies are using to reach new customers, define new workflows, and generate new revenues. And these new systems they are building are pulling away from the old systems of record – the ones you are in charge of maintaining.

It’s not that these empowered employees are that much smarter. They seek out advice and brainstorm with technology leaders just as their predecessors did. Except this time they are turning to other sources of knowledge and that’s the shift I&O professionals must be concerned about. How much of a concern is this for corporate I&O? Enough for us to theme an entire conference around it. The 2011 Forrester Infrastructure & Operations Forum is this November in Miami, and the focus is on building a Customer-Centric I&O organization. In my keynote address at the Forum I’ll be focusing on how you can change your answers to the above pop quiz. A hint: you have to take the initiative.  Forrester surveys leaders throughout your company – not just IT professionals – and when we take a 360-degree view of the data we find that the business understands the role you play and they recognize its importance. But unaided, they don’t see you as an agent of change or as a source of innovation.

There are I&O leaders who are changing this perception in profound ways, but they aren’t sitting in their offices or strolling through the data center. They are engaging the business in highly effective ways. I’ll detail what steps they are taking and how you can head down this differentiated and career-changing path.

Are you a highly effective I&O leader? How you answer the above quiz is a quick insight. If you want to go the rest of the way, come join me in Miami to find out.

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