A Practical Approach for IT Governance

Archive for May 2014

CIO as a Change Agent

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tempI had the pleasure of meeting Keith Ferrazzi today. Keith was talking to us at the SCSIM on becoming an agent of change. According to SCSIM, Keith Ferrazzi is one of the rare individuals to discover the essential formula for reaching the top – a powerful combination of marketing acumen and a remarkable ability to connect with others. Both Forbes and Inc. have designated him one of the world’s most “connected” individuals.

Hearing him today confirmed SCSIM’s assertion. Keith spoke of four mind-sets needed to become a successful change agent: Generosity (helping others unconditionally), Vulnerability (sharing weaknesses to help foster intimacy), Candor (being transparent and upfront), and Accountability (walking the talk on the promises made).

In a sense, Keith reflects uGovernIT’s philosophy. With respect to Generosity, the services architecture enables IT to deliver services that drive efficiency in the enterprise. Taking the initiative to provide these services builds credibility with the users. With respect to Vulnerability, uGovernIT provides a user mandated Governance process that essentially transfers IT ownership back to the users. With respect to Candor, uGovernIT provides complete transparency to all stake holders on how IT is performing using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) derived from the user-IT transactions. Finally, with respect to Accountability, uGovernIT helps IT publish SLAs (Service Level Agreements) and how well IT is performing with respect to SLAs. uGovernIT also publishes all the raw facts so that users see IT as their partner and not as a black box.

Written by Subbu Murthy

May 23, 2014 at 12:37 am

Learning From VCs

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Charles WestonWith his article “Learning from VCs: One CIO’s Strategy for Investing in IT”, Charles is right on the money.  The role of a CIO is very similar to that of a CEO of a professional services firms.  CIOs will face situations where they have to take risk to maintain a competitive edge for the Enterprise.  The company culture, competitive landscape, industry domain and past performance all influence the degree of risk that the Enterprise can tolerate.  Charles correctly identifies that risks entail failure, but failing fast helps facilitate exploring alternatives.

Charles identifies that CIOs are called upon to place bets—much like VCs do—that a given product or service is going to hit the market at the right time and can fill a niche that others don’t.  IT Assessments are a great way to develop a framework for the opportunities that fit the makeup of the the Enterprise.  While the CIO cannot be expected to have the crystal ball, the onus of innovation is clearly on the CIO, and innovation always entails risks.  IT Assessments not only help identify the challenges and opportunities for the enterprise, they also serve as the risk gauge that can help the CIO develop both a short term and a long term IT strategy that is symbiotic with the enterprise strategic plan.

An example of prudent risk taking comes from my friend Rich Hoffman.  At a Los Angeles CIO Summit where over 200 CIOs attended, I had the good fortune to hear my friend for a decade and a half, Rich Hoffman, talk about the importance of collaboration.  He is the CIO at Avery Dennison and the collaboration platform he has built in partnership with Google is a role model for us.  It was launched with great success in just nine months covering 20,000 users in 50 countries.


Written by Subbu Murthy

May 11, 2014 at 11:26 pm