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3 Steps for Effective Strategic Planning

Posted on  31 July 14  by 

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Use the wisdom of the crowd to choose your innovation projects.

Are you building your IT strategic plan with the business’ needs in mind?

Seventy-three percent of IT’s business partners believe IT is ineffective in understanding business strategy and needs. This is a stark statistic considering that 93% believe that IT strategic planning is an important activity for the business. So why then, does IT fall short? First, IT struggles to uncover unarticulated business strategies, and second, IT has never been able to get involved early enough to put the foundational capabilities in place that are necessary to execute IT strategy.

To combat these common challenges, CIOs should take three steps to improve strategic planning effectiveness:

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How to Manage Talent: Lessons from World Cup 2014

Posted on  30 July 14  by 

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CIOs could take some pointers on talent management from the German World Cup team.

CIOs could take some pointers on talent management from the German World Cup team.

Germany’s recent World Cup win has been attributed to a highly effective, long-term talent strategy. Large investments in coaching and a carefully crafted development plan to foster home-grown talent culminated in a sensational defeat of Brazil, as well as the final victory over Argentina.

What can CIOs learn from this example? Few CIOs have a strategy to build teams to meet their future needs. At the same time, the IT talent landscape is going through dramatic changes in supply and demand. So as we enter strategic planning season, it’s worth considering some of the implications of Germany’s World Cup achievement for our talent management processes.

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Your PMO’s Costs are 25% Higher Than You Think

Is your PMO unintentionally estimating and planning for only 75% of total costs? Many PMO leaders do not see the complete picture, primarily because they do not account for key hidden costs, such as time spent on writing a business case or delays in decision making. To make matters worse, project portfolio complexity is increasing, and only a few PMO staff have the right level of experience to manage this level of complexity. This further escalates expenses, including higher fixed project expenditures and costs associated with reduced employee productivity.

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Top 10 Member Tools and Templates

Have you accessed all of our most popular tools?

Have you accessed all of our most popular tools?

From time to time, we like to share the most popular tools and templates our members are downloading from across the CEB CIO network.

10. IT Demand Management Process Map: Outline the steps in the IT demand management process, and provide guidance on the division of labor among participants, information inputs and outputs, and risks of underperformance.

9. IT Scorecard Builder: Generate a customized scorecard with metrics, classified under six performance categories and different strategic initiatives.

8. Information Management Project Prioritization Scorecard: Evaluate information management projects based on delivered business value and required effort.

7. IT Strategic Planning Process Map: Outline the typical steps in the IT strategic planning process. For each step, key activities are listed along with the participants involved.

6. Service Manager Job Description: Outline the future skills requirements, responsibilities, required qualifications, and experience for service managers.

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Entering the Post-PC Era: What Apple’s IBM Deal Means for You

Posted on  24 July 14  by 

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Don't chase technology trends; innovate to fill technology gaps that threaten long-term goals.

Are you ready to partner with start-ups for your corporate IT needs?

In the aftermath of Apple’s deal with IBM, the vision of a post-PC era has returned center stage. Most of the coverage has reiterated the point that the PC is losing its pivotal role in the enterprise. Organizations are increasingly adopting cloud-based services and mobile apps to drive productivity and improve the customer experience. For Apple, this may be the answer to a second consecutive quarter of sluggish iPad sales. But for CIOs, the Apple-IBM partnership has ramifications far beyond the consumerization of IT. While Apple can now rely on IBM’s expertise in negotiating with corporate consumers, CIOs should ask themselves if they are ready to partner with a host of other (and perhaps less fortunate) entrants into the world of corporate IT.

Smaller players cannot simply stroll into our enterprises or corporate IT departments. While Apple is one of the largest consumer technology companies, many smaller vendors either cannot or won’t make the deal Apple made. Yet, more and more start-ups with various levels of commercial maturity are coming up with capabilities that can make a real difference to the enterprise. And the first ones to notice are generally not in IT, but in other parts of the business.

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Take a Chance, IT. How to Be Less Afraid of Failure

Posted on  22 July 14  by 

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Are your IT employees too risk averse?

Are your IT employees too risk averse?

IT employees have serious concerns about the implications of working on a risky project:

  • 61% feel it would hurt promotion prospects
  • 58% believe it would negatively impact bonus prospects
  • 56% think it would negatively impact their credibility.

This fear of risk—and really, fear of failure—is a significant problem for CIOs working to improve IT’s contributions to business-partner innovation, a key priority for 2014. While many CIOs recognize that failure is part of successful innovation, it is still a struggle to communicate and embed this mindset at all levels of IT.  As my colleague Jamie Heyes has written, CIOs need to change IT staff perceptions, specifically their attitude to risk and uncertainty.

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How to Get IT Employees to Embrace Change

Posted on  18 July 14  by 

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How do your IT employees adapt to changes?

How do your IT employees adapt to changes?

IT leaders often treat change as a top-down initiative that is passed on to their staff. When changes are made, staff are rewarded for compliance and generally not expected to provide input. There’s a problem with this approach, though; most people are uncomfortable and resistant to change when they feel it is happening to them, not for them.

So progressive CIOs are starting to rethink the traditional approach to change management, and for good reason. Employees’ connection to change is a top driver in moving IT toward a “climate of openness,” according to a recent CEB survey. And since IT organizations with a strong climate of openness are three times more likely to deliver business value, compared to organizations whose climate to openness is only average, this provides a unique opportunity for CIOs to get directly involved in reshaping their employees’ behavior and shifting attitudes from resistance to openness.

Our research found three approaches CIOs can use to enable employees to become the drivers of change:

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Test Your IT Strategic Planning Knowledge

Most IT organizations do strategic planning, but few do it well. All too often, strategic planning is a long and cumbersome process, and many IT organizations struggle to clearly define a strategy, tie it back to business goals, and establish credible execution plans. Alarmingly, more than one-third of a strategy’s performance potential can go unrealized due to these planning and execution barriers.

So, how much do you really know about effective strategic planning? Take our short quiz to find out!

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Estimate How Much Your Business Partners Are Spending on Technology

Posted on  10 July 14  by  and

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CIOs underestimate how much other business functions spend on technology, often by as much as half. There are several reasons for this. First, CIOs underestimate the willingness of business partners to procure and manage IT solutions on their own. Second, cloud and SaaS solutions with low up-front costs and ease-of-access make it hard to determine the true extent of business-led IT. And third, vendors circumvent IT to sell solutions directly to business leaders.

CEB budget benchmarking data from across corporate functions (i.e., Communications, Finance, HR, Legal, Marketing, Procurement, R&D, and Sales) shows that for every dollar companies spend on technology through the IT budget, the rest of the business spends an additional 40 cents.

Select your industry in our interactive business-led IT calculator to estimate how much your business partners are spending on technology, in addition to the IT budget:

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How to Make Metrics Matter

Posted on  9 July 14  by 

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Become a more selfish PMO to deliver more value to the enterprise.

Are your IT metrics tracking market share and business value?

“Run IT like a business” is a cliché that has been around for over a decade. However, only half of business partners believe that IT contributes to enterprise success, and only 39% of employees feel IT increases their productivity. Many CIOs address this challenge by establishing end-to-end IT services that enable specific business outcomes.

A services model forces IT to think and communicate in terms of business capabilities and outcomes, not technologies. But it also requires IT performance management to be driven by the business value generated by the service, rather than technical performance metrics. In other words, technical performance has to be secondary to business value to reap the benefits of a services model.

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