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The almost constant need for digital transformation means modern IT organisations must alter direction quickly. When the business demands change, CIOs and the rest of the in-house IT team needs to be ready.
New and continuing technological change characterises the digital age. What analyst Gartner refers to as 'the axis of forces' - namely cloud, mobility, big data and social - provides an opportunity for executives to refresh how their business operates and serves its customers.
It is a conceit of most generations that we are living in a time of unparallelled change, and it’s also quite possibly true. The Radio Age, the Television Age, the Space Age... and now we find ourselves in the Digital Age. As Gartner have described, there is a nexus of technological forces at play with mobile, social, cloud and information all having an individual and combined impact.
Fifteen years ago the IT Director for whom I worked semi-jokingly described himself as the Director of Gross Margin. He was, as was so common at the time, from a finance background. Technology in an organisation was a potentially unlimited cost to be managed.
If you were to design your organisation today with a blank piece of paper and no inheritance, would you include an IT department on your plans? Come to think of it, would you include an HR department, a finance team or any other of the support silos that act as the foundation of many of our large organisations?
Translating the impact of IT innovation in a business context requires more than strong technical awareness. To really make the most of innovation, IT leaders must understand the aims and objectives of their c-suite peers.
Evidence suggests businesses gain a competitive edge through the smart use of information, with more than a quarter (26 per cent) of digital leaders telling the BCS that big data is one of their key technology priorities.
Digital transformation involves much more than the creation of a new IT operating model. People, rather than systems and services, are the key to long-lasting change - and HR executives play an essential partnering role in helping CIOs to achieve this aim.
Technology, although crucial, is just a tool. Any organisation that wants to make the most from systems and services must focus on the people that will use IT. To meet this aim, the modern IT department must be customer-centric.
The ever-widening IT skills gap needs filling. Organisations that fail to take proactive steps could lose a competitive advantage. CIOs must help their firms develop a coping strategy for talent management and development.

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