Staying in, Winning, and Changing the Game

Lot of travel lately — Walldorf, Singapore, and Bangalore back-to-back-to-back. 

I want to pick up a thread I dropped earlier, the idea that CIOs get too caught up in this idea that they have to be “strategic.”  For too many IT shops, this approach leads to several common mistakes:

  • Losing focus on the plumbing, thereby losing credibility to take on higher-order work.
  • Misinterpreting mere business alignment with strategic IT.
  • Wasting time on so-called strategic initiatives in an industry or process where IT has little leverage.

Looking at one’s IT capability and options as a portfolio helps manage this tension between operations and innovation.  One has to build a solid, repeatable process, which is even great for rote, commoditized operations.  Process can even promote systematic alignment with on-going, incremental business operations.

Differentiating one’s business activities — e.g., enabling the CSR that can up-sell based off of your buying, offer to change your service plan to save money, etc. — requires non-process techniques to emerge the individuals and interactions required.

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