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Responsibility for IT is moving to the Business: What does it mean for the CIO?

Probably the most disruptive trend affecting IT is the responsibility for IT is moving to the business. Primary drivers of this are the prevalence of technology in business services and solutions as well as business manager’s growing comfort level with technology.   WGroup sees this as an important inflection point for CIOs requiring attention.  If the trend is not dealt with effectively there is a potential for a loss of control of critical IT functions.  In turn, there could be a major impact on the enterprise from a risk and performance perspective.

In response to this trend WGroup recommends significant changes to the IT management model and operational processes.  These changes are mainly focused on governance, service management, innovation and sourcing. 

While all this change is happening, it is important however, that certain aspects of the traditional IT responsibility base should not change.  The following core responsibilities should remain centralized and under the purview of IT and the CIO:

  • Security – Development and enforcement of information security policies, principles and frameworks.  Maintenance of system security privileges and the associated tool set, periodic audit of access privileges.
  • Architectural Standards – Development, maintenance and communication of acceptable operating environments and technology standards.  Oversight of the exception process.
  • Infrastructure Services Management – Including management of the wide area network and telecommunications, corporate data centers whether insourced (management) or outsourced (oversight) and end-user computing services.
  • Data Management – Coordination of data management processes, oversight of data lifecycle activities, arbitration of business-related data issues, and management of the data tool set.

Centralization of these functions within a highly skilled organization serves to protect the enterprise’s assets from undue risk while leveraging volume and scale to provide the most efficient computing environment.  It is the CIOs responsibility to make senior management aware of the trend and promote the required changes to the management model.  By being proactive, the CIO demonstrates an appreciation for the pace and need for change while maintaining a complementary appreciation for the well-being of the business.

Click here for more on disruptive trends and the changing role of the CIO in our strategy brief, ReThink IT

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Denis Desjardins, Principal Consultant at WGroup, has more than 25 years of experience in Information Systems across diversified manufacturing, telecommunications and consulting businesses. His strengths include IT governance, outsourcing relationship development and program management.
 

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