IT reorganization: 4 CIOs share expert advice

IT reorgs are never easy, but frequently necessary. Here's how to get the job done with minimal disruption

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No one embarks on an IT reorganization for the fun of it, unless you're a sadist.

Because they represent change, both for an IT department's staffers and the business units with whom they work, reorganizations are never easy. But they're often unavoidable, triggered by new technologies like the cloud or mobility, a change in management, a disruption in the industry or simply the need to serve the business better.

And they can be frequent: A 2013 Forrester Research study of IT executives found that approximately half of respondents indicated that there was at least a 50% chance of a reorganization within the next 18 months.

Tom Murphy knows a thing or two about frequent reorgs. As CIO of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines he set out to wrangle a dysfunctional IT organization into submission, only to have his progress interrupted by the shockwave of 9/11. He followed that with a stint as CIO at pharmaceutical company AmerisourceBergen that involved a huge SAP installation and an associated reorganization.

Today, as CIO of the University of Pennsylvania since February of 2013, he's reorganizing again, hoping to take a "disenfranchised" IT department and turn it into a "high-performance, highly aligned organization," this time while navigating the political intricacies of academia.

If there's a reorganization in your future, read on for expert advice from Murphy and three other CIOs who have recently weathered departmental change.

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