What’s not to love about bargains… for example, getting more IT at a lower cost! There are a plethora of new technologies that seem to offer the tantalizing but risky promise of IT bargains to be had. These new delivery models signal a paradigm shift from IT constructing to IT acquiring and deploying (Sunoco CIO Peter Whatnell, The new delivery models and the economics of IT, August 4, 2010:8:12 to 8:51) IT is now in a difficult place, responsible for providing and utilizing services to help business that may be delivered in environments over which it has little control. There are serious issues at stake, including security risks, irretrievability/retrievability of data from the cloud, and tradeoffs. So what does it take to get IT and business to dance together in sync?
The strategy for the CIO’s interaction with management depends on how IT is viewed by business. That can be one of two ways. The first is as Veolia CIO Mark Lohsen puts it, “foundational IT” or a cost center approach where IT is kept out of the loop when it comes to budget discussions. The other is “organic IT,” which is invited to present a rational case to management based on the tradeoffs for business value. (3:23 to 4:41)
Ultimately, the CIO’s role should be as a trusted advisor, who listens to what business wants and needs, makes recommendations after doing his/her homework (47:43 to 49:08) as to which proven technologies are best, and explaining the business tradeoffs of the technology. CIO Mark emphasizes speaking to business in the terms it understands (11:48 to 12:14) and utilizing quantifiable metrics that can document that value has been delivered ( 18:51 to 20:11) while Suncoco CIO Peter Whatnell, talks about trust based on previous success. (12:53 to 18:42)
There was a discussion between Mark and Peter on checkpoints, that you can follow at this link: (49:40 to 54:13)
One question was not discussed by our guests, and remains. After new delivery models are in put in place at an IT budget savings, what should be done with that savings? Should it be returned to business? Or does it belong to IT, to be invested elsewhere? Please tell us what YOU, our reader and listener thinks.