Tag IT strategy

Tag IT strategy

5 Questions to Ask Your CIO as Non-Executive Director

Tags: , , , , , , Advice, Assess, Organization, Strategy, Uncategorized
photo credit: jamuraa via photopin cc

photo credit: jamuraa via photopin cc

Chris Ham, Managing Director of cibsys, has spoken in cooperation with John Holland at the Eleven Canterbury event ’New Technology Trends – Risks and Opportunities for Non-Executive Directors and Boards on the 20th of January at the Institute of Directors. Often Non-Executive Directors find themselves in the position to ask critical questions about unfamiliar topics and this event aimed to equip them with the necessary tools and a critical set of questions to be able to stand up to seasoned IT executives.

In the following, we have picked five interesting questions which you can use to “penetration test” your CIO with. For your convenience, we have added related blog articles below the questions.

Read More

Ten Questions To Ask Your IT Department

Tags: , , , , , Business, CIO, Strategy
photo credit: Defence Images via photopin cc

photo credit: Defence Images via photopin cc

Following on from my previous blog about a near disaster, the following are ten questions to ask your IT department about how they run their finances, and may come in useful when planning an IT strategy.

IT managers hate finances. Ask any IT person what they think about accountants and accounting and you will probably get a very rude answer.  Let’s face it, technical people do not like to ask questions about money, they just want to get on with projects, solutions and technology.  In many firms the CIO or CTO is promoted to a level where they have control over significant spend but the promotion is often based on their technical knowledge as much as management capability.  Maybe 30 per cent of any spend in a firm can be concentrated directly and indirectly these days in IT or systems related service – so ignoring money is not an option. Not having strong governance over how money is spent on IT is a risk to the firms bottom line.

Read More

The Real World of IT Financing – A True Story

Tags: , , , , , , , , Assess, Business, Strategy, Uncategorized
photo credit: Steve Snodgrass via photopin cc

photo credit: Steve Snodgrass via photopin cc

Inspired by recent projects being undertaken by cibsys, I started thinking about some war stories I have heard through the years. The following blog post looks at an example of what could and does go wrong if you don’t ask important questions about IT financials.

The outline of the story was to resolve an IT budget crisis, where the COO was forecasting 10% over, dealing with figures in excess of ten million. In other words, there was a pressing need for fast remedial action to prevent disaster.  The regional CIO was a brilliant technical lead with fantastic ideas, who delivered amazing software surrounded by like-minded technical staff.  The one lonely voice in his management team who was screaming to be heard was his business manager who could see the pending crisis of budget and funding but was not being listened to.  The reality was that the forecast was way off, there was no real spend tracking and that the ledgers actuals were so far behind the reality of spend that no one really knew what was being spent and where the money was going.   There was dire need for proper departmental financial controls and proper forecasting in addition to the basic ones in finance department.

Read More

12 Steps to an Effective IT Strategy

Tags: , , , , Strategy, Strategy4IT
photo credit: marfis75 via photopin cc

photo credit: marfis75 via photopin cc

There is no magic formula for creating an effective IT strategy, and the process can sometimes be long and seemingly never-ending without solid and experienced advice. There are a number of over-arching guiding steps and processes that can be applied to create one for a firm.  Working as and with consultants for many years I have managed to refine the key principles into 12 steps that provide method, focus and structure to delivering an effective strategy. Using this experience we have been able to create a template for IT strategy and use it in real world case studies to deliver effective decisions on strategy.

Our sister blog at http://www.strategy4it.com/blog/ boasts three articles about this twelve step process. I hope to impart useful information in these posts with regards to IT Strategy, and if you have any feedback or comments we always appreciate it at cibsys and Strategy4it.

IT Strategy and User Behaviour – Matching the User Agenda

Tags: , , , , , , , , Business, CIO, Strategy, Strategy4IT, Uncategorized
photo credit: marfis75 via photopin cc

photo credit: marfis75 via photopin cc

Are you using you IT strategy to set your user behaviour?  Or are they setting yours?

 
As I was discussing in the blog entry here last week, a good CIO will use his IT strategy not just for tool and service selection but to guide cajole and generally point his users towards better IT usage.  A good IT strategy is holistic and will incorporate processes and usage, not just the technology and applications used.

IT Strategy and User Behaviour

Tags: , , , , , , Assess, Data Centre, Strategy
photo credit: redjar via photopin cc

photo credit: redjar via photopin cc

Many CIOs will look at their IT Strategy as portfolio optimisation, choosing the most effective tools for each area of the business. However, an effective strategy with a holistic approach should also attempt to look at the way the tools are used and adapt the behaviour within the organisation.  In this blog entry I am going to look at a couple of examples of ways that behaviours can influence IT cost-effectiveness. Let us start with a topic that is driving up costs in all organizations worldwide – storage.  We are all guilty of poor storage management, myself included.  For a simple presentation for the team, how many of us add a photo to the cover page of our PowerPoint presentations? Do we really need that degree of prettiness to create an impact? Perhaps for an external presentation but for our own team? Not really.

Read More

IT Portfolio Optimisation – Art or Science?

Tags: , , , Strategy, Strategy4IT

With the recent new release of our Strategy4IT IT assessment tool I was discussing with colleagues whether you can scientifically optimise an IT portfolio.  The article on my sister blog goes into more detail about how IT organisation can be considered an art or a science – http://www.strategy4it.com/it-portfolio-optimisation-art-or-science/.

 
So science or art? – Strategy is both – scientific data gathering followed by artistic interpenetration to decide the way forward.

10 Things to Think About for Your Data Centre Strategy

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , Advice, Business, CIO, Strategy
photo credit: torkildr via photopin cc

photo credit: torkildr via photopin cc

Working with a mixture of companies of all sizes I have seen everything from the demands of the immediate fail-over always on, fault tolerant architectures of the real time trading businesses to one mid-sized client who had the servers in a cupboard at the office and regularly used to lose their systems when the cleaners unplugged them to vacuum the floor (and I am not joking!)

Read More