Monday, March 17, 2008

Are CIO's innovators?

An analyst at Forrester indicated in a recent interview that the reason why CIO's struggle with innovation is because the business doesn't have the proper respect for their role. So let me see if have this right... CIO's aren't innovating and it's the business people's fault.

In my experience, innovation gets supported (funded) when it means real profit change for the firm. The reason why most IT projects end up focused on operational efficiency is because potential cost-savings (resulting in profit increase) are most easily demonstrated and understood.

No projects get off the ground without incremental IT funding. There's too much to just keeping the lights on for a CIO to divert maintenance resources to new work. So these "innovation" projects that seem to top the CIO priority list must compete for resources with projects bubbling up from the business community. This is as it should be. If the CIO cannot present a case for their innovation efforts that represents a better opportunity than other projects, then those projects will appropriately be placed at the end of the line.

So who bears the responsibility for that? I say that it is the CIO's responsibility to demonstrate the benefit of their innovative ideas.

Credit where credit is due: Interview excerpt with Bobby Cameron, Forrester Research. From CIO Insight

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