IT Business Management

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting Inc., an Ontario, Canada-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

When I first started working with technology groups, IT was seen as a self-contained group that could almost be considered to be a black box. Project requirements went in at one end and a product came out at the other end (often late and over budget, if I’m being honest) with very little visibility for business units into what was happening in between.

That’s changed and evolved, and the vast majority of IT departments are now valued establishing themselves as value-add internal vendors who operate with the needs of the business foremost in their minds. Clearly this is progress, but I don’t think that it’s enough. It’s still a fairly reactive approach--responding to requests from the business to support their evolving needs and implementing projects that are initiated from other areas of the organization.

To truly be a strategic contributor, it seems to me that IT needs to take a much more proactive view to managing the technology portfolio--initiating and driving business focused projects that contribute real bottom-line benefits for the organization. In other words, the CIO needs to be a business leader who happens to have responsibility for a technology group, not simply a technology leader.

Business-focused leadership
When you stop to think about it, this is a perfectly logical approach. The CIO will have a budget for his or …

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