CIOs: Never Ask for Money Again

How Do You Fund Your IT Investments?

First of all, if you are an IT manager or executive and have asked for money to fund a project, you are brave. Too many folks in IT are order-takers. So, hats off to those valiant IT leaders who create business cases for IT initiatives, and present justifications for investments.

However, there is an inherent issue with “asking for money.” It’s as uncomfortable for the asker as it is for the askee. It is almost like you are asking to borrow money with a promise to repay with interest if everything works out.

What’s worse, a pattern of asking for money widens the gap between the business and IT. It doesn’t need to be like this.

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The Fractional CIO Option - Abraic

Not Your Typical CIO: The Fractional CIO Option

Situations abound where a business could use supplemental C-level IT expertise to get through a transitory period of change. Maybe you’re between CIOs, or your senior IT leader needs some temporary executive-level help. Maybe the executive team needs some strategic IT advice, or the IT department needs a “shot in the arm” to get to the next level or deliver a new capability.

Flexible access to CIO-level expertise on part-time or temporary basis can serve to strengthen your IT function. Staffing services or consulting firms will provide a resource to cover strategic and/or tactical IT leadership needs. The resource can help with a short-term transition, organizational change, or other executive-level responsibility. Such a solution provides a viable and affordable option when an expert IT Leader is needed to augment the IT team or the business executive team.

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IT Must Learn to Fail Fast to Succeed

Innovation is an imperative for all organizations, and particularly IT. With that imperative comes the need to fail fast.

In Fail Fast or Win Big, Bernard Schroeder writes that it is not just leadership, culture, and technology that make for a successful startup, but also speed and timing. It has become easier to launch prototypes and get instant feedback via such tools that range from free online tools, social media, crowdfunding, and crowdsourcing. Startups can learn faster and pivot to new options, thus reducing the risk of outright failure.

Entrepreneurs have reached an extraordinarily high maturity level of innovation and failing fast. Startup methodologies have been honed in the US and globally, making small innovators big threats to established enterprises. As a result, larger companies are adopting startup methodologies—including fail fast—for themselves. Unfortunately, many IT organizations are laggards in this regard.

IT should be leading the way. If we don’t, we will be asked to get out of the way!

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Why We Are Afraid of Failing in IT, and How to Get Over It

IT executives, IT managers and other techies: I am coming at you!

It’s time to embrace the concept of failing fast. (If you already have, how is it working for you? Please feel free to comment below and share your lessons learned.)

This doesn’t come naturally to a lot of people. We in the IT industry have baggage. So let’s process that baggage together.

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Lessons on Failing Fast from Outside the Corporate Bubble

The benefits of “failing fast” have been well documented and embraced in startup circles. Yet in IT, project cancellations are rare. Organizations exert tremendous energy on making the best of IT initiatives that are bound to fail. When failure is not an option, failing fast is a foreign concept.

There are many factors contributing to the fear of failure in IT: culture, governance, strategic alignment, budgeting practices, contract structures, and more. That said, IT leaders need to learn from others.

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IT Can’t Please Everyone

Sorry to break it to you this way. It’s a fact of life: IT cannot complete its work faster than the business can think of it.

The dependence on IT is growing exponentially, priorities shift constantly, and new opportunities come up daily. The gap between expectations of IT and its capacity is often widened by those executives who claim they are not technologically well-versed, yet assume IT can waive a magic wand and technology will just work.

That IT cannot please everyone is not a problem – it is a reality. Frankly, a hypothetical IT department that satisfies everybody 100% would be so expensive it would defeat the purpose. The key is finding the balance between responsible spending and internal customer satisfaction.

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What Does Talent Management Have to Do With IT_ Everything

What Does Talent Management Have to Do With IT? Everything.

As a leader at an IT organization, your first priority is successfully developing your IT product or services. Yet you might find yourself hindered by poor performing programs, or employees who are ill equipped to execute your vision.

One way to infer that your organization isn’t spending the time and effort necessary on talent management is if your employees say (or think) any of the following statements:

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IT Portfolio Management and the Squeaky Wheel Effect

We’ve all seen it: “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

This idiom has become synonymous with the idea that, in any organization, the person who complains, bellows, shouts, and stomps their feet the loudest will be first to get attention.

Squeaky-wheel types aren’t necessarily negative or harmful. Some Squeaky Wheels are simply annoying. Some have valid ideas that deserve the attention they seek.

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