Kumud Kalia is CIO and EVP of customer operations at Direct Energy, a $7 billion company. Kalia is a successful business and IT executive: He has a great, trusting relationship with his CEO, Deryk King. He’s a member of King’s nine person executive management team, and he’s in charge of business process management for the company’s retail business. Yet he doesn’t have an IT strategy. In fact, he eschews the notion of IT strategies. In a conversation with his boss and with CIO magazine Editor-in-Chief Abbie Lundberg at CIO’s Leadership Conference in Huntington Beach, Calif., Kalia got a lot of attendees thinking when he shared his unconventional view on IT strategy.
“People get very distrustful of IT if the IT guys say we have a strategy. It gets perceived as IT having its own agenda,” Kalia said. “Our strategy is the business startegy and we have execution methods that will enable us to execute that strategy very well.”
Do you have an IT strategy? What do you think of Kalia’s take on IT strategy? Share your thoughts. (Or in the immortal words of Saturday Night Live Coffee Talk character Linda Richmond, “Towk amongst yourselves.”) I’ll report more on Abbie’s revealing conversation with Kalia and King and on the rest of the leadership conference over the next 36 hours.