A Practical Approach for IT Governance

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

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