Timely IT Strategy Topics

I have collected the posts that I felt were timely and should be considered by IT leaders looking at updating or formulating their strategies.  Here are the key posts to consider:

  • What to do in the first 90 days as CIO: the post provides a quick primer on the things you should address as the new CIO or senior IT leader.
  • Addressing Today’s Security Risks: This reference page outlines mandatory measures as well as some key best practices to combat the ever-rising information security threats companies face. As a CIO, you must treat this threat as very real to your business. Here is the original post as well.
  • A Continued Surge in IT Investment: Despite a jobless recovery, there has been a continued surge in IT investment. How can IT leaders ensure their companies are not being left behind in the productivity curve.
  • The Accelerating Impact of the iPad on Corporate IT: With the continued surge of success of the iPad, there is a significant impact on how IT leaders should adjust not just their client devices approaches but also their application interface priorities.
  • Outsourcing and Out-tasking Best Practices: While the general trend of more IT outsourcing but via smaller, more focused deals continues, it remains an area that is difficult for IT management to navigate successfully. Collected here  are thoughtful best practices that will be invaluable to IT leaders.
  • Building a High Performance Team Despite 4% IT Unemployment: While an improved US national unemployment picture at 6%, the IT market is much tighter – 2 to 4% – and even 1% for some specialty areas. Excellent recommendations are in this post on how to build a strong team in these tight conditions.
  • Understanding Innovation and the Key Constraints to Digitalize: Two key posts for you to leverage to help your firm out-compete in the digital world!

And if you are looking to formulate an IT strategy or improve the process that you utilize to derive IT strategy, this IT Strategy reference page should assist.

Best, Jim Ditmore

5 Responses to Timely IT Strategy Topics

  1. Anonymous says:

    Lots of great topics in this blog, thank you. I’d like to ask your opinion on various different Cloud offerings springing up in both public and enterprise space. Products/services in that space seemed to have reached a point where it’s viable to use those in an enterprise space, yet I see a ton of our processes, as well as overall IT mentality in our organization being stuck in Y2k mode, it still takes us weeks if not months to get any infrastructure/servers to develop/test/prove any new idea/product. We’re not really allowed/empowered to “fail quickly”, which I see as tremendously important for a nimble organization to be able to do.
    Today, one can request/build a complete environment, web/db/windows/citrix servers/switches/firewalls/etc from any number of public cloud providers (AWS for example) and with a simple credit card transaction be able to use that environment within minutes, so be able to test any number of new ideas, and even if that idea fails, be able to move on to other ideas. We seem to be totally lacking that mentality in our operations structure, as it takes months to get any infrastructure to test absolutely anything.

    Do you see adoption of cloud infrastructure, and more importantly the cloud mentality, as a possibility for organization of our size?


    • Jim D says:


      Thanks for submitting the questions, and I can understand your frustration where you really want your organization to be able to deliver at a robust level yet you see significant service issues. So, in response to your questions:
      – server delivery should be a rapid turnaround item and if it is taking months to deliver a server, processes must be ineffective or broken. If you are a senior engineer or leader in the organization, then help take ownership for raising the goals and improving the delivery process.
      – remember though that ‘failing quickly’ is not what large organizations do, nor should they. Please read the innovation posts on this topic. Failing quickly is what the innovation team does. The vast bulk of IT and operations must instead work to minimize failure, deliver outstanding service, and generate a utility capability with huge economies. Then savings can turn into investment and the investment can be spent in areas of investment including innovation.
      – you are quite right about the ability to request a complete environment from cloud providers and have it running in minutes. Note though that this is an integrated and standardized environment — which is exactly what your server team should be doing. That is, they should be delivering standardized server environments in minutes or hours at low cost (versus delivering customized servers in months at high cost). Note your organization needs the discipline to be standard! By the way, this then is a cloud infrastructure, it is just a private cloud, which is just fine. In fact it will help your corporation meet its legal and fiduciary responsibilities around data protection, security, and confidentiality.Most large organizations will be leveraging (or already are) private clouds like this.

      Hope that provides some clarity. Best, Jim

  2. Sandeep Sharma says:

    Hi Jim, To introduce myself, I am Sandeep heading up the strategy, operations and supplier relationship for a major bank technology operations here in India. Have spent fair amount of time in the GIC space since I was also heading a large technology company’s banking and financial markets vertical in India which had specific focus around growing up the space.

    Have been following your blogs on recipes for IT and couldn’t agree more around moving from off shoring to global service centres. Rather that’s been my challenge since our centre grew around life/shift philosophy since that was the need of the hour. Adding to the complexity has been the varied degree of maturity of application development and infrastructure services and the commitment on off shoring as a extension instead of yet another offshore location.

    I have also been focused around this space and have been writing about revenue opportunity in cost centres. As you rightly pointed out you will have to look at these centres as two in a box instead if not one in a box.The biggest challenge is career roadmap and growth with rigidity around travel and movement across borders. Also with more centres coming up and consolidation to follow I personally feel that is one area where commitment from leadership will play a big role. We have also seen challenges around India working differently in terms of people demanding more promotions and faster movement then it’s peers in the US or Europe.

    Have built an establishment model to address that and would love to share ideas and network around this subject. Look forward to hearing from you to continue to have a conversation around this.

    Warm Regards, Sandeep

  3. Supervisor says:

    Hi Jim,
    I am finding so much useful information on this site, thankyou. Our service desk has recently reorganized and we are doing a review to see if the transformation requires adjustment and if employees are utilzing the processes in place to perform their duties. It is not easy to engage staff to partake in the review. Do you have suggestions on how to engage staff that are already overworked? Do you have suggestions on open ended questions to get the most feedback (about their workload, processes in place and productivity) taking the least amount of their time?

    • Jim D says:

      Dear Barbara,

      First, the fact that you care about this is important. Please read through the posts on the things you should be working on to take a poor performing help desk to an exemplary one. The make sure you talk about what leadership will be doing to start to improve things. It is important that the staff see you care and are willing to invest. Then I would hold regular sessions with different, selected members of your service desk team, rotating the times of the sessions so different members can attend. Start with the tools – what is cumbersome, annoying, repetitive, slow, error-prone? Then get the IT guys to start fixing them. Then talk about your customer feedback – what is good, what is not so good, what is holding the team back from getting great feedback? Then tackle the shifts, working environment, telephony tools and reliability. And finally I would go after the knowledge base and support from second level. I think if you take this approach you will get interest and then support and then buy-in on your journey.

      Hope that helps,

      Best, Jim Ditmore

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