Five ways to challenge your organisation to change

Faced with tough times, most organisations have cut costs. In our globally competitive world, that alone is not enough. It's time you challenged your board to invest in technology to serve customers and support business growth.

But influencing the Board isn't easy, with many competing voices from sales, service delivery, customer functions, regulatory, HR business partners, procurement advisors, financial experts, and external advisors.

The CIO must be distinct and compelling to win time, budget and to present the case for change.

Over time, we've developed a simple checklist to help develop ideas and present new proposals.

This 5Cs for Change is simple and surprisingly powerful, and summarised below:

Catalyst for change
Whether cost, competition, compliance or growth, every change needs a clear, unambiguous and communicable trigger.

Standing still, or failing to act is also a sure recipe for failure.

It takes perspective, business acumen and market knowledge to step-back from the day job and spot the right opportunities.

In order to win credibility to present a view, first you must explain why the business needs to act.

Clarification of purpose
This is the opportunity for the CIO to add enormous value; framing the challenge in SMART terms and winning consensus for the approach.

Without this, any proposal might sound like jumping on a product or technology bandwagon.

Start with the business benefits and outcomes and work back.

Isues to explore are cost, agility, resilience, market access, or changing the negotiating position with suppliers and the best way to achieve them.

For instance, Cloud isn't an end in itself, but it may be a means to achieving a number of business objectives.

Commitment to change
Getting the Board to back your project means that you are preventing other business opportunities from happening, so be sure you have wide support.

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