Financial skills are important for disciplined, well-run IT departments. At Emerson Electric, CIO Steve Hassell recently created an IT finance department, bringing in a manager from the company’s tax department to become the new group’s director. The rest of the staff consists of financial analysts, many originally from IT. The director of IT finance is learning about IT terms and processes from IT staffers while teaching them about the rigors of accounting and finance.
The enterprise architect is an increasingly common role in large IT departments (see “Wanted: Enterprise Architects,” www.cio.com/
030105). At midsize companies such as Immucor, a $114 million manufacturer of diagnostic products for blood banks with an IT staff of 21, enterprise architecture responsibility is shared among the VP of worldwide IS, the director of infrastructure and security and the director of development.
Business Process Analysis/Redesign
Some organizations employ experts to analyze business processes in order to improve them. At Harvard Business School, two temporary and three full-time employees work on projects to help business managers figure out business processes and workflows and determine what data is needed to make them run more smoothly. These “database business analysts” have a strong understanding of the business as well as database technology and models. “They bring an important skill that ensures that we don’t create some system that won’t get used,” says CIO Judy Stahl.
Many CIOs seeking to cut costs over the past few years took it from their external consulting budgets. Since then, some have found value in setting up their own internal consultant roles—presumably at lower costs. At Marriott, CIO Carl Wilson has set up an IT-business consultancy in-house, headed up by a hire from the company’s corporate strategy and planning arm.
At Immucor, VP of Worldwide IS David McCampbell promoted an IT manager to the newly created position of “senior implementation engineer.” This staffer is responsible for implementing projects and is the “chief change agent—someone to drive change across the organization,” McCampbell says.