Archive for September 12th, 2007

The CIO change request dilemma

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

As you might imagine, my job brings me into contact with many CIOs and IT Directors and nearly every one has different views and different problems to solve.

I guess one part of my job is to try to read their minds and get a feel for the aggregate of opinion in this field.  I have believed for some time that senior IT guys have a focus (rightly) on the longer term.  In today’s business environment the long term is usually seen as between 1 and 3 years.  As a result, IT resources are deployed onto major projects leaving scarce little left to do the everyday changes the business keep requesting.

I have been putting the argument that CIOs need some ideas aimed at getting the business to solve those problems for themselves.  So it was nice to speak to a CIO from a worldwide distributor last week and hear him echo those views.  “I like giving the business tools that they can use” he told me.  Nearly all his own staff are on major projects.  Meanwhile he has a list of 150 business change requests that he cannot attend to (this is a low number compared to most large organisations).  His team sits down with the business every couple of months and assesses a “hit list” of top priority changes and he struggles to deliver even those.  This is a very common scenario and is a management dilemma.