by Forrester Research

IT To BT Transition: Threats And Opportunities For CIOs

Aug 13, 20092 mins
IT Leadership

The transition from BT to IT, what CIOs should keep in mind

Forrester has published extensive research about the transition from BT to IT, but two recent announcements demonstrate the threats and opportunities for CIOs:

  • Darryl Stein, director of IT and logistics at UK retailer Marks and Spencer, with his process standardization and innovation adopted widely in the business, made it to number 5 in’s CIO50.
  • But IT director Mike Cope was not so fortunate leaving the company when, in June 2009, Virgin Atlantic integrated its IT and finance departments.

As IT becomes the sole means of standardizing and executing functions as diverse as logistics and customer service, CIOs should keep in mind that:

  • CIO influence depends on line of business perceptions. While CIOs should assiduously propagate tools and processes that contribute to standardization and cost reduction they must beware of strait jacketing peers driving for agility and innovation and must develop governance frameworks that deliver distinctive differentiation in increasingly cost competitive markets.
  • CIOs should capitalise on their skills in orchestrating change. In a delicate economy firms must redistribute resources for the coming recovery while keeping the existing business on an even keel. CIOs should advertise to their peers and capitalise on their deep skills and experience in best practices in large scale change management.
  • CIOs should acquire and demonstrate expertise in core disciplines. Until recently IT professionals have worked mostly in a staff role supporting line of business managers. While a few enlightened (and wealthy) firms were able to rotate their IT people into line roles, the fabled hybrid manager, equally at home in technology or the line of business has been as common as the unicorn.

Forrester is currently exploring CIO’s level of confidence or anxiety about near term threats and opportunities. Got ideas or input? Take our confidential survey on “Urgent Threats And Opportunities For CIOs” to examine the major factors that can have an impact on the role of the CIO and how CIOs can best mitigate risks and capitalize on opportunities offered by IT to BT transition.

By George Lawrie