A Practical Approach for IT Governance

Archive for December 2014

Does IT Matter? (Revisited)

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Does IT Matter

When Nicholas Carr wrote that infamous article (“Does IT Matter?” byNicholas G. Carr. Harvard  Business School Press, May 2004), most refuted Mr. Carr vehemently.  In 2004, it was hard to  imagine a world where the Data Center is in the cloud and applications are delivered as a service.   We have seen the shift to the cloud, collaboration and social computing, and SaaS technologies  have become common place.  A decade has passed us by since Mr. Carr’s controversial article, but  the question now is does IT matter now?


Building Digital Tablets HorizontalIt still does, and in fact more so than before.  Without IT, businesses cannot function and remain as a business.  Businesses look to IT to gain efficiencies and maintain their competitive edge in the market. IT leadership has discovered shared services as an effective means to break organizational silos and deliver efficiencies across the Enterprise. What matters is that IT deliver more than just back-office.  To this extent we owe Mr. Carr some credit – we are beginning to think IT as both an utility and an enabler.

The importance of IT can be seen through the eyes of the CIO.  In fact, if you look at the evolution of the CIO, initially, the CIO helped the technology group understand the business. As the CIO moved from a Director of MIS/VP of IT to the CIO role, he/she helped the business understand technology. The CIO did not stop there. Today, the CIO is not just managing IT to keep the lights on but is managing the information to enable enterprises to become nimble and gain the competitive edge. Innovation leading to business transformation is one of the chief roles of the CIO.  Therefore, a decade later, IT still does matter.  However, the value of IT is best realized when it becomes a business enabler.

Written by Subbu Murthy

December 20, 2014 at 7:35 pm

Posted in IT Governance

Aligning Relationships with Senior Peers

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Ashwin’s book The C-Suite CIO is a perfect successor to his first book “Tomorrow’s CIO”.  Ashwin identifies that the C-Suite CIO should be a visionary, communicator, strategist, change agent, clear thinker, planner and “doer”.  In the book Ashwin provides frameworks and guidance on how the CIO can align with geneThe C-Suite CIO by ARral management, operations, sales and marketing, technologAshwin Rangany leadership, and administration.

Ashwin advises us that it is extremely important to do our homework first before engaging in a dialogue with the C-Suite Colleagues. One of the frameworks Ashwin uses in the book helps guide the dialog between the CIO and the other

C-Suite colleagues. Understanding whether the C-Suite colleague’s focus is on outcomes or process, or the degree of data/indicators helps the CIO formulate an approach (Syndicative, Analytical, Explorative or Supportive) in engaging a meaningful dialogue. Ashwin shares examples from the real-world to guide us in aligning ourselves to the C-Suite. There is no way to justify the depth of Ashwin’s book in a short newsletter.  I recommend the reader to purchase the book (under $15).  Ashwin uses the phrase “The CIO should be a 360 degree individual.” One of the key attributes of our Analytics based IT Governance is that tools should provide a 360 degree of IT.  Ashwin is of course referring to the persona of the CIO – whether they seeks inputs and hold themselves accountable.  In a small way, our tool uGovernIT provides the CIO a complete 360 degree view of IT.  This is essential to help the CIO understand the current state of IT and keep the dialogue with the C-Suite comprehensive and fact based.

Many thanks to Ashwin for the countless hours he spends guiding and coaching many in IT, including yours truly, with his talks, one-on-one chats and his books.

A bit more on Ashwin

Ashwin, is a CIO par excellence, a visionary, strategist and a leader in applying creative and innovative IT solutions to address real-world business problems.  He has earned the reputation for being a quick-study and a high-impact player, with a keen sense for both assessing the immediate strategic needs of the enterprise, and leading initiatives with a sense of urgency. He has over 15 years as a CIO with Board-level experience in large, publicly-traded companies across multiple Industries. Experience includes Edwards Life Sciences (Med Devices), Wal-Mart (Retail; CIO for and GM, walmart, Conexant and Rockwell.

A bit more on uGovernIT

uGovernIT is a full ERP like solution for managing the IT function. It was designed by CIOs and IT management experts like you and built on a single integrated platform.  It is a complete solution and helps triage and manage user service requests, problems, change requests, workflow and collaboration driven project management, project portfolios, manage IT budget and IT spend, and manage resource demand.  Pre-built analytics, benchmarks, dashboards and reports help you align IT to business needs by providing you a 360 degree view of your department performance.

Written by Subbu Murthy

December 1, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Posted in IT Governance