Strategy

  • Introduction to the Outsourcing Lifecycle

    Introduction to the outsourcing lifecycleBy Jeff Richards
    Managing Partner

    Regardless of what services you wish to outsource – Manufacturing, Data Center, Applications Management, Call Center, Business Process or Supply Chain – there are multiple ways to approach your outsourcing journey. As with any significant transformation of your business model, it is always best to follow an organized and methodical approach. The exact approach you choose will be determined by many things, including:

  • Is Outsourcing Right for Us?

    Is outsourcing right for youBy Jeff Richards
    Managing Partner

    In today’s highly competitive global environment, many companies are asking the question, “Is outsourcing right for us?” The short answer is probably a qualified yes. In my last post I presented some of the benefits of outsourcing. Some part of almost every organization could undoubtedly benefit from an outsourcing assessment. But which part?

  • Leveraging LEAN to Increase Business/IT Alignment

    Leveraging LEAN to increase business / IT alignmentBy Paul Hoekstra
    Associate

    As an IT executive and consultant I've seen firsthand that many IT organizations are struggling to deliver relevant services to the business. There's a misalignment between what the CIO is trying to do and what his or her counterparts in sales, customer service, finance, human resources, etc. are trying to do. And what I've seen is that this absence of business / IT alignment often stems from the IT group not having the people or approach to understand the business from an operational point of view.

    As a result, I often see situations where, for example, the HR Director goes directly to a cloud provider and simply buys a solution – reducing the IT department's involvement to just doing a security check and integrating the solution for the login. This diminishes the value of IT as an organization, which in turn leads to inefficiencies and ineffectiveness across the entire business.

  • Mark Tonnesen’s Function-First Approach

    Mark has joined CIOPS as an Associate.  Here’s his recent article on CIO Leadership styles:

    Neustar Inc. is a global information services provider and a leader in connection science, but it faces the same challenges as any other organization. For Mark Tonnesen, the chief information officer, chief strategy officer, and vice president of operations, the focus remains on the end consumer, and how to deliver a product better, faster, and cheaper.

    “We may be selling our products and services through a B2B model, but we still have to consider the end consumer as we think about design, packaging, and delivering those products and services,” Tonnesen says. “To me, the new challenge is how we can package those in a way that we can deliver them faster, continuously meeting or exceeding their expectations, so we have the immediacy of new features and functions, or pricing and discounting and packaging together as one.”

    Read more at Sync Magazine...

  • No Time for Enterprise Architecture Planning? This Iterative Approach is for You

    The fast approach to the EAP processBy Stephen McGrady
    Associate

    As I mentioned in a previous article, I’m a big believer in Enterprise Architecture Planning. However, I’m also a realist. I know that in today’s hyper-competitive and very fast-moving business environment, about the only enterprises that are enthusiastic about going through the full nine-month or one-year EAP process are government agencies. Everyone else needs results now.

  • Overcoming Technology Debt at Non-Profits: A Case Study

    Overcoming technology debtBy Jeff Richards
    Managing Partner

    Life at a Nonprofit

    For the past 2-1/2 years I’ve been the interim CIO at the YMCA of Silicon Valley – my fourth non-profit client since 2009. My experience is limited but I’ve seen a trend emerge.

    Senior executives at non-profits are usually wonderful people who are very passionate about what they do. They’re very good at focusing on their mission and the services they offer to meet this mission. They have a clear understanding of who their constituents are. More often than not they have spent their entire career at their current organization or one that’s similar.

  • Picking the Right Project Manager for Your IT Project

    How to pick the right project manager for your IT projectBy Ken Norland
    Associate

    In my previous article about “5 Ways to Improve the Chances of IT Project Success,” I stated that the first thing you need to do is to pick the right project manager for the job. While this is really not a big deal for small projects, for large projects that involve lots of people, picking the right project manager can mean the difference between success and failure.

    6 Things to Look for When Hiring a Project Manager

  • Providing Value

    How CIOPS provides valueBy Jeff Richards
    Managing Partner

    As an information technology consulting firm, CIO Professional Services specializes in information technology strategy and business/IT alignment. To better understand why organizations seek us out for assistance, we spoke with Ed Barrantes, Chief Financial Officer of the YMCA of Silicon Valley.

    As described in a previous article, we’ve been working with the Y to help them overcome their very significant technology debt. They had a situation where systems had not been updated in over two decades! Here’s what Ed had to say about working with CIO Professional Services, and the 5 key values that he feels we bring to the table:

  • Selecting an Outsourcing Service Provider

    Selecting an Outsourcing Service ProviderBy Jeff Richards
    Managing Partner

    This is the third installment of our series on the outsourcing lifecycle. The first article provided an introduction to the outsourcing lifecycle and its five phases. The most recent article was about Phase I of this lifecycle, Assessing and Documenting Outsourcing Opportunities. Today we’ll do a deep dive into Phase II: Evaluating and Selecting a Service Provider.

    This phase starts with the creation of a Request for Information/Proposal (RFI/RFP) and concludes with the selection of an outsourcing service provider.

  • The 7 Classic Outsourcing Mistakes

    The 7 Classic Outsourcing MistakesBy Jeff Richards
    Managing Partner

    It is an unfortunate reality that most outsourcing deals fail to reach their true potential. Over the course of assisting many clients with outsourcing, we have found that the following seven things, either alone or in combination, are the major causes of dissatisfaction with outsourcing:

  • The Benefits of Enterprise Architecture Planning

    The benefits of EAPBy Stephen McGrady
    Associate

    I’m a big believer in Enterprise Architecture Planning, the detailed planning process that looks at how an enterprise will use information to support the business, and provides a blueprint for handling data, applications and technology.

    While the process of creating an EAP can be lengthy – typically six to ninth months – the end results can make a significant difference in the IT organization’s ability to meet business needs. From my standpoint, I think the key benefits include:

  • The Best Way to Ensure Things Go Smoothly with a Systems Integrator

    Avoid change orders with systems integratorsBy Jeff Richards
    Managing Partner

    Considering hiring one of the big systems integrators (SIs) to help you with a large-scale project? This could be an excellent move. After all, the big systems integrators are known for their expertise in identifying, designing and deploying complex IT solutions for the enterprise.

    Unfortunately, hiring a big systems integrator usually means big teams and big bills. It can also be a financial train wreck, as many of these organizations are renowned for bidding one thing and then by accident or design presenting change orders and scope creep that leads to much higher costs and longer schedules.

  • The Best Way to Evaluate & Realize the Value of IT

    Business / IT alignment is vital for realizing the value of ITBy Mark Tonnesen
    Associate

    If you're a CIO you've probably heard the question before, usually asked by your company's CEO, finance executives or operations leaders: "What's the value of IT?" And chances are the people asking this question have expected a metrics-based answer involving a close look at the percentage of revenue spent on technology, the number of projects delivered, the percentage of on-time and on-budget deliveries, etc.

    Stop Asking the Wrong Question

    As far as I'm concerned, though, "what's the value of IT" is the wrong question to ask and the wrong way to look at IT's true value. Here's why.

  • The Easy First Step Towards Increasing Diversity in Technology Companies

    An Easy 1st Step Towards Increasing Diversity in Tech CompaniesBy Steven McIntosh
    Associate

    It's no secret that the vast majority of people who work at technology companies are men. Unfortunately, this is a serious problem that impacts these technology company's ability to succeed in an increasingly diverse economic world.

    Why Technology Companies Need a Diverse Workforce

    Today most technology companies are only getting the benefit of a single point of view. This not only breeds a lot of "group think," it can also make it hard for the team as a whole to truly understand many of the members of the companies' target audiences.

  • The Global Sourcing Matrix

    The Global Sourcing MatrixBy Jeff Richards
    Managing Partner

    Thanks to the wonders of technology and transportation, today many (if not most) business processes can be performed almost anywhere in the world. As a result, your organization has countless options for global sourcing – so much so that analyzing all of the options can be challenging.

    To assist you in this area, CIOPS has developed a matrix that serves as a succinct strategic framework for illustrating your global sourcing alternatives. Here’s what you need to know…

  • The Key to Getting Started with Big Data & Analytics for SMBs

    Getting started with big data and analytics for SMBsBy Rocky Vienna
    Principal

    Good news! Businesses have never been closer to their customers. In fact, with the popularity of mobile apps, you can literally be in their pockets. Bad news – it’s a two-way street. Customers have immediate and impactful tools like Yelp, Twitter, and Foursquare to provide feedback to others on your product and services. A bad review can cause a feeding frenzy and negatively impact your brand.

    These realities help explain why large companies have heavily invested in Big Data and Analytics. These platforms allow companies to reap the rewards of improved prospect-to-customer conversion rates, increased customer loyalty and the ability to quickly respond to service issues. And all of these things, in turn, help prevent the negative online reviews that all companies dread.

  • The Language Secrets of Successful CIOs

    CIOs need to learn to “speak business”By Jeff Richards
    Managing Partner

    The Path to Becoming a CIO

    If you want to be a CFO there's a fairly prescriptive list of things that you need to do to rise through the corporate ranks. For example, most CFOs start their careers working for one of the major accounting firms. They have CPAs. They understand general accounting, taxation, transactions, how to deal with board members and banks, and so forth.

    But if you want to be a CIO there is nothing that remotely approaches a prescriptive list of what you need to do to get there. There's no special curriculum and no widely-accepted "must have" certification.

  • The Rise of the Fractional CIO

    Rise of the Fractional CIOBy Jeff Richards
    Managing Partner

    We deliver a lot of fractional CIO and interim CIO engagements at CIOPS. In fact, over the past six or so years we’ve seen the demand for fractional CIOs in what we define as the mid-market (i.e. organizations with sales in the $250MM to $1BB per year range) increase by around 60%. This is more than double the 25% or so increase in demand that we’ve seen for interim CIOs.

    While I don’t have any actual studies or data to back this up, from where I sit it seems that more and more organizations are reaping the benefits of using fractional CIOs. Here’s what you need to know…

  • The Secret to Selecting the Right IT Product

    Selecting the right IT product – a proven processBy David Haedtler
    Principal

    The decisions made about major IT issues – such as selecting the right IT product for your enterprise – can have an enormous impact on your organization's productivity and success. That's why clients often engage our services when they're faced with making software/vendor procurement decisions. They want to ensure that the contract is awarded to the product and vendor that is the best fit, not simply to the sales person with the closest ties to the CEO or other decision maker.

    For important IT decision making, such as choosing enterprise software, the secret to success is to define your selection criteria first, and then see how each of your options stacks up. Here is the proven process that I recommend:

  • Transform or Die

    IT organizational change must always be top of mindBy Mark Tonnesen
    Associate

    Organizational change – including IT organizational change – is not a "project." It's not something with a nice, neat start date and end date, with deliverables and measurable outcomes. For an organization to survive over time, organizational change must be a continual initiative or charter that is always top of mind for members of the executive team, including the CIO.

CIO Professional Services LLC is a top-rated IT consulting firm, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, specializing in strategic IT consulting and business / IT alignment. Companies come to us seeking assistance with their information technology strategy as well as to source interim CIO / CTO employees or fractional CIO / CTO's. Our IT experts can assist with integrating IT into your business processes - better - up to and including 'project rescue' in areas such as ITSM / ITIL, IT service strategy, and IT outsourcing. Business / IT strategy projects we have worked on include upgrading ERP systems, cybersecurity and IT consulting, IT assessment and organizational change. Cloud computing and business IT remain critical in today's business systems, and beyond that to the migration to the cloud of business IT. Our IT consultants can assist with all aspects of business / information technology alignment. Contact us today for a free phone consultation - we service clients not only in San Francisco or San Jose, but throughout the United States.

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