Influential CIO and blogger Dr. Halamka published an excellent post today on the role of CIO titled Job of CIO – Content versus Context. Dr. Halamka and Healthcare IT is not alone on this and IT organizations across all sectors face similar challenges to deliver more with less and little or no wiggle room for innovation. Compliance, technology refresh, security and operations ends up taking the entire budget with no room for innovation. That is the real picture in almost every IT organization and more often the role of CIO and the entire IT organization gets valued by how the expectations are set and managed, yes the context compared to the content on latest technologies and buzz.
Unfortunately there is no Silver Bullet solution for all the problems that Dr. Halamka highlighted in his post. However, there are several learnings for IT organizations, enterprise solution vendors and service providers to IT organizations. I am eager to see his next post about on his speculation on the IT organizational model for the future that improves the context of the work.
Now coming back to the learnings, IT organizations can take cues from startups, from lean principles like lean IT or lean startup to try to squeeze innovation out of existing operations budgets. As a person who has straddled between the startup and IT organization worlds, I also see the challenges associated with it introducing lean / agile methodologies in a traditional IT organization, which is mostly organizational and cultural and has to be overcome first.
For enterprise vendors and services providers, IT organizations will love you when you provide capability to enable IT to charge back for the service business is using. Though charge back for IT services may not happen soon, at the least it will enable IT organizations to track who is using what and use as a leverage for budget increase.