Technology Management for Small Business

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Technology Innovation

II. Technology Innovation provides revolutionary change through introduction of new technology.  This covers services and products for the public, consumers, customers, or internal users.  Recent innovations such as mobile technology, cloud computing, and social media are providing new value for CIO offerings to their enterprise customers.

The "360 CIO" leads an organization that takes advantage of open innovation where possible. 

See the Welcome message for an overview of the 360 CIO.



Who Creates Technology Innovation?

Supplying scientific or technical products and services to external users (public, consumers, customers) had been typically managed through CTO organizations.  And innovation for products and services intended for internal users through CIO organizations. However, demarcating between research and development for external products and internal management information systems is not always necessary and can be counter-productive. Better ideas are possible through virtual and creative teams not bound by an organization's structure, geography, and proprietary restrictions.
 
"Open Innovation" trends allow a two-way sharing of innovation among a variety of resources.  For example, a great new product might be created by a small ad hoc team of customers, competitors, and suppliers.


Equally possible, an internal team might invent something cool that could become a profitable new product for an external use or an unrelated business.



Disruptive Innovation
Technology organizations have the opportunity to invent new products and services that "disrupt" the market or service offering by providing solutions to a broader base of users or consumers not previously possible.

Historical examples:
  • Steam ships disrupted sailing ships
  • Digital cameras disrupted film cameras
  • Online stores disrupted retail outlets
More recent disruptive technologies include:
  • eBooks disrupting paper books
  • iPads/iPhones disrupting laptops
  • email disrupting postal mail
  • Facebook disrupting email
How to Enable Innovation
The 360 CIO provides a working environment that enables creativity
  • Lead, instead of Control
  • Ensure Enterprise Architecture ties the business architecture to the technical architecture
  • Provide collaboration tools that allow the network organization to flourish
  • Create excitement about participating in or benefiting from "innovation intermediaries", either formal or informal 

Enterprise Value

II.  Enterprise Value is largely measured by its economic value: Return on Investment (ROI) of IT programs and operations including the direct and indirect long term Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).  Value is typically generated from system consolidation and efficiencies as well as IT's role in enabling the enterprise to enter new markets and increase market share.

See the Welcome message for an overview of the 360 CIO.


The 360 CIO breaks down enterprise goals into continuous improvements and projects then measures whether desired results are really being achieved.  The contribution value of the CIO is measured through performance against these strategic and operational goals.  One broadly used method for measuring value is the Balanced Scorecard.



Measures of success include:

  • impacts on financial performance, both from a revenue and cost perspective
  • accomplishments as defined by the IT customer
And are measured by:
  • quantifiable results
  • valid and verifiable methods
Other considerations may include:

  • Measurement of social and environmental (green) value as well as safety and security
  • Industry-specific measures
  • Impacts by stakeholder areas: Executive, Public, Business Development, Commercial Team, Customers, Operations and Administrative
  • Strategic value, for example ability to enter a new market

Service Management Quality

I.  Service Management is the service delivery and support as visible by IT customers.  Service management provides integrity and reliability of computer systems, incident/problem management, support and training, and user-provisioned equipment.  The value of IT is often judged by service management quality.

See the Welcome message for an overview of the 360 CIO.


Service Management Quality as it is perceived by customers of IT is critical.  If there are overt service issues, all other IT success will be difficult to appreciate.  For example, if you just saved 15% on data center costs through a green technology initiative, you will get few kudos if the corporate email system is down (again!).



  • Are service level agreements (SLAs) in place with internal and external service providers?  How are they being managed and monitored?
  • What end-user services are being provided?  e.g. PCs, handheld devices, telephones, security systems, email, Internet access.  Are these service keeping up with demand and technology trends?
  • What is the response time and integrity of application and reporting systems?  Are people able to do their jobs without "waiting on the computer"?
  • What type of performance monitoring and predictive tools are in place so you can react to and plan for future needs?
  • What control processes and communication plans are in place to make sure changes to systems provide security and business continuity?
  • How are problems and incidents handled?  What performance measurements and SLAs are in place for resolution?
  • What does the IT infrastructure look like (e.g., data centers, service providers, cloud computing, network, operating systems, programming language standards, software licensing, hardware leasing/purchases).  Is the infrastructure keeping up with demand and technology trends?  
  • Are you able to provide business continuity in the event of a disaster or outage?
Service Management Capability Roadmap
It may be impossible to address all issues and provide an optimized solution in every area.  The 360 CIO implements a Capability Roadmap, which utilizes a maturity model (such as CMMI) to guide service management improvements.  The roadmap should define overall direction and tie to business strategy, maturity rating (current and target) for each service area, and quarterly actions for achieving these objectives.

Welcome!

Welcome to the 360.CIO!
A topic scan of the Chief Information Officer (CIO).  

This digest is intended for IT managers to better understand their own contributions in context of overall CIO responsibilities.  The CIO is the senior position responsible for the operation of the organization's information technology and computer systems.  In large organizations, there may be a CIO role for each major function and/or division.  

Note:  Depending on the size or type of industry, the role of CTO (chief technology officer) sometimes exists for organizations, especially organizations supplying scientific or technical products and services to its customers.  We will address both CIO and CTO responsibilities but will not discern between the two.



Topics are summarized into two categories:
  • "Doing The Right Thing" is all about providing enterprise value, technology innovation, and excellence in service management.  This is the part of the IT organization most visible to others, although most of the work around service management is internal to IT. 
  • "Doing Things The Right Way" provides balance and control:  governance and portfolio management is a shared responsibility with stakeholders of IT products and services. Process frameworks are largely internal.  
Creating a "common language" by adopting industry best practice for governing and controlling the environment is foundational.  A common language provides improved clarity, transparency, and communication.  In upcoming posts, we will explore these topic areas and recommendations for creating a common language for each:

I.  Service Management is the service delivery and support as visible by IT customers.  Service management provides integrity and reliability of computer systems, incident/problem management, support and training, and user-provisioned equipment.  The value of IT is often judged by service management quality. 

II.  Enterprise Value is largely measured by its economic value: Return on Investment (ROI) of IT programs and operations including the direct and indirect long term Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).  Value is typically generated from system consolidation and efficiencies as well as IT's role in enabling the enterprise to enter new markets and increase market share.  Innovation provides revolutionary change through introduction of new technology.  This covers services and products for the public, consumers, customers, or internal users.  Recent innovations such as mobile technology, cloud computing, and social media are providing new value.

III.  Governance Framework and Portfolio Management are the standards and practices for controlling allocation of IT resources to align with business objectives.

IV.  Process Frameworks are the standards and structure for managing IT assets and services.