Dean Lane has an article in CIO Insight magazine on the state of IT in Russia. The discussion emphasizes the similarities and shared set of concerns that exists between Russian CIOs and their Western counterparts. As business in Russian integrates more with the West, it does makes sense that their issues will mirror our own.
Among the many points discussed, the article mentions the sophisticated understanding that Russian CIOs have regarding the relationship between IT and the larger corporate enterprise:
Client satisfaction must dominate the landscape, while allowing room for creativity and innovation. Russian firms believe that controlled innovation will assist them in maintaining a competitive edge. Improving processes internal to the company and shared with their customers and suppliers is important to them. Just as important is ensuring that the functional business unit is an equal partner in such projects, and the Russians believe that the functional business unit should lead that project.
As Russian IT grows, they are going to experience many of the same challenges that we in the West have long faced. If rapid growth is any indication of fun to come, then Russian IT seems poised to experience a veritable amusement park of laughs. According to IT World Canada:
"Russia has the third largest developer population in the world," [Mark Hanny, vice president of independent software vendor alliances at IBM]. He estimated that Russia is close to overtaking India and China as the number-one nation in terms of numbers of software developers. The Russian economy is rapidly changing and companies are investing more heavily in enterprise applications like ERP (enterprise resource planning) and CRM (customer relationship management) software. This is leading to more opportunities for Russian developers in their home market, he said.
It makes me teary-eyed to hear any CIO talk about IT aligning with business, because it always sounds so beautiful. So, let’s see how our Russian comrades make it work. As someone who employs Russian developers in Siberia, I hope it works really well.
And to that, let me raise my glass of vodka in a toast….