by Chris Potts

Trendline: The Expert IT Customer Operating Model

Dec 12, 20072 mins
IT Leadership

Three very different organisations, each in a different country, have recently asked me to help formulate their operating model as ‘expert customers’ of IT.

Two would be a coincidence, but three is looking like a trend. It seems that organisations are now waking up to the fact that neither outsourcing the IT department nor turning it into an in-house quasi-supplier of services has solved their root-cause issues with IT. So they are starting to look hard at their strategy for exploiting IT and the operating model to go with it.

Where the organisation has a CIO in place, he or she is – thankfully – leading the formulation of the new strategy and operating model. Where there is no CIO, then the thrust is coming from the organisation’s corporate strategists.

The top-tier focus of the new operating model is on business innovation, investment in change and asset/service exploitation. Sourcing (or demand/supply management as it is sometimes called) is a second-tier competency which needs the top-tier to be effective to make its best contribution.

Tellingly, the IT department – if there is one – is not pictured as the centre of the organisation’s ‘IT universe’.

This takes the CIO into an interesting space: leading the organisation in the execution of a strategy and operating model where her traditional department may be significant members of the supporting cast, but others have the star roles.