The Transformational CIO
All businesses are technology businesses. CIOs must move from being solely the ‘keepers of data’ to being leaders in unlocking the value of data and information systems to drive the growth strategy of the enterprise.
As end-user technology use continues its move from the occasional to the ubiquitous, all organizations must add a technology strategy to their business strategy. However, in a recent Deloitte survey, more than 50% of CIOs are stuck in the “Trusted Operator” role. Deloitte suggests that this role will eventually become obsolete and we see this happening within many of our customer organizations. As enterprises intertwine business success with technology success, the role of IT leaders must change. As Deloitte says, the trusted operator role becomes basic “table stakes” at the new technology-forward enterprise. Many of the basic operations roles will be outsourced or replaced by SaaS providers, and CIOs will be expected to maintain high operational reliability while enabling dramatically increased speed and flexibility for their business.
DevOps embraces this idea of intertwining a forward-thinking business leader with a trusted operator. “DevOps is nothing more nor less than unifying the making of things with the running of things.” – Jeff Sussna
As the CIO focus shifts toward engaging with vision and understanding opportunity, the culture of the technology organization needs to change with it. Many consider “DevOps” a buzzword, but it can be a way to quickly communicate the message of change. As we explain in our Guide-Rails Way® seminars, enterprise DevOps must be more than a set of job title changes and some new tools; it must be a cultural transformation spanning development, testing, security and ops teams that bolsters collaboration and streamlines processes in order to reduce resistance to new ideas and increase the velocity of delivering software products.
The culture transformation is likely already happening in parts of your organization, even if you are not aware of it. New technologies, proliferation of open source tools and easy to consume cloud-based services gives new capabilities to ‘shadow IT’. But that mix of technologies and lack of standards stemming from an organic, bottoms-up movement can hamper medium term velocity and cause stumbles on the path to real transformation.
CIOs must champion and foster a broader conversation about the culture change, lead the selection of practices, tools and light-weight governance that will boost performance, and feed enterprise technology literacy. They must not be afraid to speak to a vision of change and gain the agreement of other executive stakeholders. IT leaders have the unique understanding of how legacy technologies, rigid process and outdated practices throttle business outcomes, and they have the responsibility to lead the change that will prove the value of digital transformation.
The team at Calculi has over 20 years helping large enterprises understand and transform their technology platform and culture. Talk to one of our sales representatives about how we can help you lead your transformation.