Calling for IT disruption

Technology has changed the operational processes of every organisation, but as former CIO Ian Cox highlights in this book, technology is radically changing at present. Just as technology changed the organisation, today the IT operation has to change to enable organisations to benefit from the technology change currently occurring.

Cloud computing, mobile devices, machine-to-machine connectivity and data analytics place a totally different set of demands on the IT team.  As a result a new model for the leadership of business technology is required.

In far too many organisations the IT team has become akin to a waiter receiving orders from a set of customers that have, until now, accepted what was on the menu that the IT organisation presented to them. But the above identified technologies have revealed to the user base that there is more on offer than what is on the IT department menu. Just as a customer in a restaurant can see in seconds via a Smartphone where else they could eat just metres away, so too can business users connect to and acquire technologies without engaging in a relationship with the IT organisation.

This latest wave of technologies offers a direct relationship between supplier and user, which remarkably, many users do not have with their internal IT operation. The direct relationship between users and vendors has many opportunities and threats for the organisation. The technologies of today such as cloud ensure any user in any organisation has a direct relationship with a supplier. Exciting as this model is, it has the potential to turn the IT department into a weak set of order taking middle-men. What comes out loud and clear in this book is that if business technology leaders don't have a strong relationship across the leadership team and wider organisation there is a potential for business and individual career risk.

That many IT operations are not in a position to engage with and broker the opportunities technology offers is not solely the fault of IT professionals and leaders. All too often stories of process and technology failure in major organisations, whether in the public sector or financial services,  reveal a frightening lack of technology awareness at senior levels, leading to an engagement failure. Ian Cox has devised a new model for business technology leadership that not only IT leaders but the wider business should read and embrace. The seven principles that Cox has identified, in my opinion are the principles that future business technology leaders or the CIO your organisation needs today must exhibit. 

Disrupt IT is available from Amazon in print and Kindle formats from 12 February 2014.

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Cox was named as a finalist in the British Computer Society’s CIO of the Year award in 2011 and was also ranked in the top 100 UK CIOs for 2012 by CIO UK.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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