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Where does mgmt get tech direction/ideas

By sdunn ·
I would like input from others on where/how does their mgmt. makes its tachnology decisions (how do they know what's out there, is any one person responsible to stay abreast of tech at their company, etc.).

I am writing an article, and could use quotes from others (its OK if you want it off the record) about how its done where you are.

I have seen numerous situations where a company does not know what tools exist that may help make their business smarter, faster and more profitable. A company may understandably think that their IT staff owns that opportunistic thinking. Many times, though, the IT department has an operations mentality - do what your told and keep things running. To quote Peter Drucker, "If you put new ideas into operating units...the solving of the daily crisis will always take precedence over introducing tomorrow." Even when approaching development of new systems, the IT development managers often simply build what they are told, not necessarily looking for opportunities to improve business as a whole.

I would love to hear from others on how this is handled/ignored at their company. Do you have a single position to do this (a Technologist)? Does the CIO provide ALL guidance? Are ideas expected to bubble up from the developers? Are there external or internal consultants that steer the tech direction?

Thanks In Advance,
Scott Dunn

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Here we have a section

by JimHM In reply to Where does mgmt get tech ...

The area I work in was created to help the Technical / Solutions of the corporation.

We Plan & Implment Architecture, Infrastructure for the corporation - we ensure that purchases of technology meet requirements of the architecture, we guide users through the acquisition process. We work closely with user departments to help develop technical solutions to their business needs.

We review - technical and industrial trends - publish that information corporate wide - work with the executives in aligning IT strategy with the Corporate goals and strategy.

In short we go from Architecture - to R and D... granted we need about 5 or 6 more staff but .. we are holding our own... with 4 ... We have had a large number of success's - with the imployement of new technologies to solve business problems.. (Have a better track record that they had before - and from that we are getting very busy)..

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Org structure, SME's and measurement

by sdunn In reply to Here we have a section

Thanks for the reply, Jim. That's the idea I'm proposing in the article. Someone (a person or group) takes on that type of responsibility.

What is the org structure of the group? Who does the head of the group report to? The CIO/CTO? A Development/Engineering Mgr?

Is your group assumed to have significant knowledge of the business (subject matter experts) to propose solutions to different business groups? Are different people in your group assigned different technology areas to watch and generate ideas?

Also, pardon the lengthy reply, you mention the success you've had. How does your group measure that success? What is the companies reponse? How did this new group start and what is the company's view of technology in general (savior, helper, expense)?

Thanks again for your input.


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a reply will be long

by JimHM In reply to Org structure, SME's and ...

Scot is it ok to email you my reply to your questions... it would be a long reply here..

If the group would like to read - will reply here -

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Did you get my email ??

by JimHM In reply to Org structure, SME's and ...

Scott did you get my email?

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I don't think so....

by sdunn In reply to Did you get my email ??

Hi Jim,

Sorry for the delay. I don't think I have (unless you email from an account with the name Randy).

If you still have it in your Sent folder, you could forward it to I'd really like to hear what you have to share.

Thanks Again,

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Integrating technology with business

by NetTek In reply to Here we have a section

A CIO, CTO, Director of IT, etc., must act as a liason between the technology department of the company and the company's business plan. In other words, he or she must focus on how technology and information management can facilitate the company's business goals. One of the biggest mistakes I've seen is companies that adapt their business structure and operations to their existing technology, rather than the other way around. Caution must be taken with an attitude of, "We have these particularsystems, how can we use them to improve our business?" A successful CIO might instead ask, "This is how our business operates, how can we use technology to improve those operations?" regardless of what technology or software presently exists in the corporate infrastructure.
Once a CIO identifies the business goals, he or she can then focus on the technology that might achieve those goals or maximize end results. He or she may confer with developers or systems administrators to determine if existing infrastructure can be utilized to achieve those goals. If not, the CIO must look elsewhere. Trade shows and conferences, trade magazines, vendors, manufacturers, and other companies, may provide those solutions.

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Combo Solution

by spiff001 In reply to Where does mgmt get tech ...

We utilize Strategic Analysts within each Business Unit to assess, confirm and recommend tools and processes for IT.

In addition, our company is laid out in a 'flexed' MS Framework where Product Management also has a Product Development arm that lays out tactical direction on delivery of new products and services. Product Management handles longer term (strategic) direction of deliverables.

Systems, Testing, Logistics and User Ed meet with Product weekly to discuss ongoing projects, risk, resource allocations, team health and future deliverables. This team also manages priorities...we do not manage with twelve 'NUMBER 1' priorities (it kills team motivation, fatal under a RAD IT development environment...we have monthly delivery of new product and services).

All team members are expected to contribute ideas on new deliverables as well as backend enhancements that continue to make our product the best it can be.

Hope this helps...

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Sounds Great - Influenced By?

by sdunn In reply to Combo Solution

I like the sound of that structure. It's broken up enough to track responsibility. Also, I like the realistic view of sw development (no multiple top priorities).

Do you know where these ideas were drawn from? Any authors/books you can point to or other companies whom you emulate? Is there one main visionary/evangelist, or are these ideas common and shared among your group?

Thank You Very Much,

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Be "Boundryless" as Jack Welch would say

by e-Fellow In reply to Where does mgmt get tech ...

Create an environment where everyone from the bottom of IT to the top have a voice. But go a step further, be open to everyone. Follow proven technologies that can fit into your business. The top IT person must be the one to take the business goals and the mass array of data and along with staff support and roll-on. We are a small to mid sized manufacturing company with only 5 IT members, so we rely on proven technologies and good research. As a team we upgraded our WAN, installed VoFR and we are saving our company close to $150.000 per year on just phone charges. And we also increased our bandwidth 10 fold. The users and IT staff had said we need more bandwidth, so I challenged us all, to kill more birds with this stone and after about 2 months extra planning and strategizing we all bought into the project. How could the CEO and VP'S turn it down. I have seen people spend lots of money and 2 years later be trying to implement, they were, in some cases, fired, why?, because they wanted full credit if it worked and no credit if it failed. Be a team or be gone, trust no one person or vendor, you would not pay $2,000.00 on vehicle repair without a second or third opinion, because its your money, think of the companies money as your money and you will not only watch how much you spend but you will also make damn sure you get everything you can get for the money.

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So Everyone Participates?

by sdunn In reply to Be "Boundryless" as Jack ...

So everyone is expected to come up with the cost-saving, better, competitor-killer ideas, as well as knowing how new technology's involvement?

Does your IT group (or any member) also know (or expected to know) the business well/very well?

Thanks for your help,

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