Chapter 3. A Strategically Focused, Tactically Agile IT Organization


Chapter 1 opened this book with a discussion of the CIO's two primary responsibilities: (1) to ensure the stable and reliable functioning of the enterprise's IT infrastructure—meaning all the application systems and all the hardware and software on which those systems depend; and (2) to continually evolve and enhance the IT infrastructure so that it remains properly aligned with the enterprise's evolving business needs. These responsibilities ensure that the enterprise has the IT capabilities it needs to carry out its business strategy and to respond effectively to threats and opportunities as they arise.

This chapter builds on these foundations to address IT tactical agility. In the high-change, high-risk, and highly competitive global economy in which enterprises compete today, CIOs can make their most valuable contributions by evolving and enhancing the IT infrastructure so that it stays aligned with business strategy. This is where CIOs must devote the bulk of their attention and their time. Although the CIO still remains responsible for the reliable day-to-day functioning of the IT infrastructure, that responsibility is not a "C"-level job anymore. CIOs must delegate IT operations to direct reports and partner with service providers to whom they can outsource selected IT operations.

It is no longer about the technology itself; it is about how well the CIO uses it. It is no longer about squeezing ...

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