Stimulating IT innovation

In his March 15 entry on the Harvard Business Review website, innovation guru Brad Power affirms the point I made about IT's potential role as a source of fresh ideas for the business.  Power offers examples from financial industry...

Should business align with IT?

For years, IT leaders have been talking about business alignment.  And we should continue to do so.  IT, after all, exists to support the business.  So it's important that IT investments and efforts align closely with the key...

Power, cooling and the cost of IT

IT is under growing pressure to do more with less. But this is not just because upper management has a relentless appetite for great operational efficiency. It's also because IT has not done a great job of quantifying its financial...

Software licensing drags innovation

Often, we think that the primary obstacles to innovation are technological.  Can we run the right analytics on this data?  Will we be able to maintain service performance given the potential scale of our peak workload?  What do we...

Can IT measure its own financial performance?

For decades now, IT has been like the metaphorical shoemaker's children. It provides all kinds of analytical tools for other areas to gauge their performance. But when it comes to measuring its own performance in business terms, IT...

Opacity: Why IT services aren't services at all

It is commonplace in our industry to refer to the applications and other functionality that IT delivers to users as "services."  We talk about the performance of the "IT services" to the desktop.  We talk about the "service catalog"...

Mobility: Whose cost is it, anyway?

Mobility is a hot topic for IT.  With the proliferation of smartphones, everybody is trying to figure out what kind of applications they need to deliver in order to make knowledge workers more productive when they're away from their...

When everybody is a CIO

It's always been tough for IT organizations to find the right people with the right skills at the right time.  One minute, you need a crew that knows Flash and JavaScript.  The next, you need experts in JBoss and Hadoop....

Big economic recovery from small technology projects

In our polarized political climate, the economic debate seems limited between two opposing viewpoints.  One side insists that government spending will stimulate job creation.  The other insists that only private capital can do the...

It's time to virtualize human capital

To achieve their ambitious growth objectives and fulfill relentlessly escalating client demands, managed service providers (MSPs) are aggressively virtualizing human capital.  Key takeaway: Enterprise IT organizations face very...

Imitation is the sincerest form of MSP flattery

The growth in the managed service provider (MSP) segment has been frenetic, as enterprises increasingly rely on outside help. At the same time, enterprise IT itself is starting to look more and more like an MSP. It's striking to see...

Beware of dogma

Political debate in the United States today is highly polarized.  Many in Congress are so beholden to the dogma of their political party that they are unable to make rational choices that might even give a hint that the "other side"...

IT's new role, and how to succeed in it: Core vs. chore, part 2

Core or chore? It's the most critical factor to consider when making a decision about how to source a given business service. If it's core, it has to be managed internally. If it's a chore, look to an external service provider. As...

IT Services: Core and chore, part 1

As enterprises grow increasingly reliant on external service providers, CIOs have to keep asking a fundamental question: "What's core and what's chore?" If something is core, then it makes sense to keep doing it internally. If it's...

Real CIOs don't think like CIOs

If you run IT, you know that the rules of the game have changed. The yardstick by which you're measured, and the skillsets you need to succeed, are radically different than they were just a few years ago. Perhaps even more...

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