Posted by Mike Rollings
SearchCIO's Linda Tucci posted "IT transformation is off the table in a recession, CIOs say". Linda discusses the conversation that occurred at an IT and business executive luncheon in Madison, Wisconsin. CIOs may be weary from trying to do more with less, but I do not agree with the title that "IT transformation is off the table in a recession". On the contrary, we need transformation to get out of the recession. Notice that I didn't say IT transformation.
David Cagigal, CIO for Alliant Energy Corp, asks “Why are people at my door asking for more work, when I have less dollars to do it?”. Maybe it is because transformation requires participation as a whole?
Transformation is "a metamorphosis during the life cycle of an animal", "a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance". When did organization's adopt the idea that a caterpillar could go through a partial transformation? That just a piece of the caterpillar becomes a butterfly?
Maybe the title is based on a reaction to the statement made at the luncheon by Ajei Gopal, executive VP for CA Inc.’s products and technology group:
"CIOs should be investing in long-term strategies that break down information technology silos and weave IT into every aspect of the business so that CIOs see what they need to see and respond appropriately to provide the business with (ready for the next proverbial?) end-to-end IT services."
If we define IT Transformation as an IT driven activity then I would agree -- IT organizations are not going to get more funding to do something solely on the premise of transforming one cog in a machine that needs to be redesigned. However, if we define transformation as IT transformation directed by business transformation, then IT transformation is as relevant as manufacturing, marketing, sales, and other departmental transformations required to fulfill a business transformation. But the requirement is that transformation will occur by driving simultaneous and dramatic changes in all areas and not just one.
Transformation is typically discussed as a partial and incremental change of a whole. When did we give up on real transformation and adopt a definition of incremental improvement masquerading as transformation? IT is a part of transformation, but not the core of transformation. The core is within addressing the fundamental purpose of our business model or agency core mission.
IT Transformation is off the table -- I think not!