Saturday, May 12, 2007

IT Strategy: Balancing Innovation and Implementation

During April 2007, I have had a chance to present my ideas on the changing role and challenges facing CIO at different forums--(1) SAP USer Group Meeting in Maastricht (Holland), (2) Pocket CIO Program at Boston University School of Management (Boston) and (3) dinner meeting with senior CIOs and IT directors for The Leading Edge Forum, London. My essential message is that the most fundamental challenge facing the CIO is the balancing of requirements of innovation with those of implementation. Not all CIOs can excel at both requirements without relying on an organizational approach that allocates distinct responsibilities to the twin requirements. Some CIOs do have the mandate (as well as the skills and competencies) to use IT to shape business strategy while others deal with the mandate of implementation. In some companies, CIOs are seens as the innovation architects while in other settings, CIOs are tasked with infrastructure operations.

This fundamental tension raises a set of management challenges in how IT should be organized and managed in the 21st century. While we do not have a perfect organizing model to manage IT, here is a presentation that outlines some of the key ideas that I shared with the audience in the different talks that I mentioned earlier.

Look forward to comments and suggestions.

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