uGovernIT

A Practical Approach for IT Governance

Archive for December 2013

Advertorial!

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As we usher in 2014, as CEO of UGovernIT, Inc., I feel that this message, largely an advertorial, is OK as it does give the CIO what it means to have a seat at the table.  We have all heard this before – the CIO has a seat at the Executive Table; IT is strategic; CIOs role is changing for the better; CIO is really the Chief Innovation Officer etc.  Great things to hear if you are a CIO as it helps you forge ahead.  Frankly, how can you forge ahead, if you have to always look over your shoulder.  The challenge is that CIOs are too busy taking care of their own shop.

Not only is the workload increasing, budgets tightening – end users are placing more and more demands on the quality and value of what IT delivers.  How are CIOs coping with this extra workload?

Is outsourcing the answer? Outsourcing only transfers the risk. It can be very beneficial to handle fluctuating demand, but some of the cost savings are greatly exaggerated.

Add more staff? Adding staff will help but also needs more $!    Use Tools? Tools to help manage the workload can give CIOs an understanding of the workload, and perhaps even automate some of the tasks, but CIOs need too many of them – one for service management, one for project management, one for resource management, one for CMDB, etc.  Sadly they are expensive and time consuming.

Looking for a solution? Take the uGovernIT test drive. It is a complete solution that is fully integrated and can be implemented in weeks. Out of the box, it has most of the service management, project management, CMDB, resource management, budget management,  reports and dashboards that meets 80% to 90% of mid-market needs at a fraction of the cost of existing solutions.

It actually helps you predict and solve issues, predict and manage workloads and take better advantage of your existing staff.  The best part is that it helps you identify services and projects that drive cost savings and enhance value to the Enterprise.  You can do this not just for IT, but take this approach to the rest of the organization.

Written by Subbu Murthy

December 29, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Posted in Helping CIOs

Will 2014 be better?

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A recent article in Information Week identified that out of the annual 82+ billion dollars that the Federal Agencies spend on IT, a staggering 30 billion is wasted.  That is over a third that is wasted.  We are not talking about project overruns – one could say that some of the overruns were directly related to scope creep.  We are talking about simply wasted effort in duplicate or incompatible systems.

Quoting the article, “Office of Management and Budget’s then acting director Jeff Zients and federal CIO Steven VanRoekel issued a memo urging federal agencies to focus on high-value IT investments and put an end to deployment of redundant IT services. The memo introduced two new initiatives: one called PortfolioStat, which reviews agency IT portfolios, and another that requires agencies to develop consolidation plans for commodity IT services.”

While the percentages may not be as big, I am sure in our own smaller IT shops, we also have duplicated effort, incompatible systems and wasted resources.  CIOs are trying to forge ahead and help the businesses they are in, but if they do not take care of their own backyard, then their positions are very tenable.  As my high school teacher mentioned to me, “Before you become a star in the sky, be a lamp to your house.”  Fortunately, there are tools available today for CIOs to get a handle of their own shop.

Written by Subbu Murthy

December 27, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Posted in IT Governance

IBM’s Five Game Changing Predictions

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IBM’s CEO, Ginny Rometty came out with five game changing predictions.   The first one is too generic and has been around – computers that learn.  The second one is how wearable computing, and location intelligence will thwart on-line retailing and bring local retailers back into the game.  This is just too optimistic.  The third one is about personalized treatment due to DNA.  This is definitely on the cards, but there are serious social issues.  What happens when you determine the final outcome will be fatal?

The fourth prediction is actually already happening.  Analytics to help detect and correct fraud.  The final one is interesting: “Within five years cities will become more adaptive thanks to cloud-based social feedback, crowd-sourcing, and predictive analytics. Systems will connect to billions of sensors to sense and respond to traffic and transit patterns and human preferences and demand, enabling city managers and leaders to respond quickly to constituent needs and dynamically reallocate resources.”  May be it will also help stop frauds like what happened here in Califiornia (City of Bell).

 

 

Written by Subbu Murthy

December 18, 2013 at 9:27 am

Posted in IT Governance

CIOs in Transition

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I started a linkedin page “CIOs in Transition”.  The idea was to help CIOs network with their peers and exchange ideas and leads to help them locate the position that best met their interests and needs.  I realize that I had made an unintended mistake, which in fact turns out to be good.

While the interest was to help CIOs who are looking for a job, there are also CIOs who are employed but are in transition.  They are reinventing themselves from the back office to the front office.  As a CIO who just made the transition, I feel that the best way to transform the role of the CIO is to first, take care of business, i.e., run the IT as a business very effectively.  Second, take this expertise to other areas in the enterprise such as operations and marketing.  Finally, help enterprise identify and implement strategies and foster innovation that lead to competitive advantages.  I truly welcome these CIOs to join the group as well.

Written by Subbu Murthy

December 15, 2013 at 12:47 am

Posted in Helping CIOs

Apple Stores – An Unique Experience

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Apple changed the way retail outlets appear to the public.  It is not just how they appear to the public, but they encourage the potential buyers to play with the product, collaborate and make their experience very enjoyable.  Not to mention the experts they have to help when needed.  Microsoft, Disney and Tesla are all imitating their style.

We also allow our users to meet and collaborate, touch and feel our product and provide personalized support. The interesting part is that we do not even make a hardware product.  We actually have software that helps CIOs run the business of IT.  Instead of looking over the shoulder, they can leave the department to self manage with our tool.  The CIO can always know in real-time the status of the IT spend, status of projects, resource allocation and utilization, status of the infrastructure, and the status of the services delivered by IT and automated measures to assess how well IT is functioning.  A pure coincidence that our CTO is a famous app developer on the iPhone.

Written by Subbu Murthy

December 10, 2013 at 12:23 am

Posted in IT Governance

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Lousy Bosses- a la Suzy and Jack Welch

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Suzy and Jack Welch wrote an article in linkedin on the five types of lousy bosses: (1) Know it alls; (2) Too remote (closed door bosses); (3) Too bossy (jerks); (4) Too soft; and (5) The Non-Differentiators (everybody is good).  Sorry to take on the giant in management, but the authors just blew it.  Not that they missed many more types such as (6) Very self-centered and (7) Lack of integrity.  The two reasons I think they missed the mark is one, that people cannot be classified into a group.  They generally have multiple traits.  Second, Suzy and Jack do not specify methods to tackle these types of bosses.  People who are jerks (3), very self-centered (6) and have no integrity (7) pose a serious challenge, whereas the know it alls (2), too remote (2), the too soft managers (4) and the non-differentiators can be coached and trained into becoming good bosses.

My review goes to show the power of the web.  In the olden pre-web era, I would not have come across this article, much the less have the chance to critique a giant like Mr. Welch.  However, having started it, one more suggestion Mr. Welch – learn from the ancient Indian culture.  Always use the lady’s name first as I have done when I reference the write up.

 

Written by Subbu Murthy

December 10, 2013 at 12:01 am

Posted in IT Governance