Transformation

  • Why hire a fractional CIOBy Jeff Richards
    Managing Partner

    There comes a point in many company’s growth when it becomes obvious that the investments made in IT haven’t kept pace with the business and this shortfall has now become a constraint. Your technology capabilities just aren’t good enough, but for reasons of either capacity or skill sets, your current in-house IT team is not able to rectify the situation. You realize that your organization could really benefit from the expertise of an experienced CIO (Chief Information Officer) to chart the way forward—but you either do not need or cannot afford to bring someone in on a full-time basis. This is where the fractional CIO comes in.

  • A part-time CIO for SMBs offers many advantagesBy Rocky Vienna
    Principal

    A witch’s brew of globalization, disruptive technology, and regulatory compliance has created a new set of challenges for business executives. Never before has Information Technology – and the knowledge and experience of a seasoned CIO – been so integral to a company’s success and outright survival.

    Whether yours is an emerging company, a small company or a mid-size company, having a part-time or fractional CIO serve on your Executive Management Team is the most effective way to get the benefits of having an experienced CIO without taking on the expense of having a CIO on staff full time.

    Why a part-time CIO will complete your team

    It’s common for small and mid-size businesses to have an infrastructure-centric IT manager who doesn’t yet have the business acumen of a seasoned CIO. This IT manager is vital for day-to-day IT management, but just isn’t capable of guiding the executive management team through strategic IT-related issues and opportunities. In addition, this junior team member does not have the experience to ensure that you have the proper business processes and related business systems in place to support growth.

  • Improving the chances of IT project successBy Ken Norland
    Associate

    The statistics are disheartening. A 2013 McKinsey survey confirmed what’s been an “open secret” for years: 71% of large IT projects have cost overruns, and on average these projects deliver 56% less value than predicted.

    Why? What causes these problems, and what can you do to improve the chances of IT project success?

  • Several alternatives exist as to the method and location for performing business processes. Subject to certain constraints, these processes may be located anywhere in the world, and can be performed internally by the company or by other organizations...

  • Our Managing Partner, Jeff Richards, is quoted in this article in the November 7 issue of ComputerWorld.

    The latest in IT services? CIO hired guns

    Damon Neth hasn't had a full-time, salaried position with a company in nearly 20 years. And he wouldn't have it any other way.

    That's because Neth has built a lucrative career as an interim CIO. Highly qualified and rich in experience, he and other IT guns-for-hire possess a unique blend of IT expertise, business smarts and boardroom savvy. Rather than commit to cubicle life, interim CIOs transition from one client to the next with contracts typically spanning three months to two years, and annual compensation of six figures.

    Read more on COMPUTERWORLD...

    Get the PDF version...

  • Cloud computing and business strategy – why you’re going to have to make the moveBy Zeesham Kazmi
    Associate

    Chances are not a single day passes where you don't hear of some new advancement in the cloud. Cloud is a topic of strategy discussions in board meetings, and it impacts your family's connectivity at home. Unfortunately, there's still a huge FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) factor about cloud computing. In fact, a great deal of immobilizing FUD is portrayed regarding the security, legal and risk functions of the cloud; much of which is based on myths. Many CIOs also have questions about the cloud's costs and potential savings (including the human resources savings factor), as well as how moving to the cloud can impact the transformation of their organization.

  • Why data center consolidation is a good ideaBy Mark Tonnesen
    Associate

    Over the years, the norm within most IT organizations has been to want to own, manage and control things. The objective has been to have some control over the outcome and, ultimately, the success. As a result, many CIOs are still hosting their own data centers. While this approach probably made a lot of sense in the past, times have changed. The reality is, it's no longer a competitive advantage to own and run your own data center.

    To stay competitive, your priority needs to be the delivery of the services that ride on top of your data center infrastructure. That's why consolidating your data centers, virtualizing as much as possible, and partnering with a reputable hosting provider should be part of your strategic IT planning process.

  • How to Help Your Project Manager SucceedBy Ken Norland
    Associate

    In my last article I gave some in-depth advice regarding “Picking the Right Project Manager for Your IT Project.” Once you have selected this person, it is your job as CIO to help your project manager succeed. The best way to do that is to ensure that your project manager is allowed to manage.

    What prevents project managers from managing?

    In my experience, the two most common problems that prevent project managers from actually managing are:

    1. Micromanagement from above – The people who oversee the project but are not in the project, start micromanaging the process.

    2. Misunderstanding of the project management role – The road to IT project failure is often paved by project managers who only take the “project reporter” role and not the “manager” role. These people attend or lead meetings, take notes, list issues and report on them to management. But they don’t drive these issues and problems to solutions and project progress – they wait for someone else to do that. This approach is guaranteed to fail in tough projects.

  • Include time in your IT project plan for changesBy Ken Norland
    Associate

    If you’ve been in the IT world for any length of time, you know that large IT projects often go awry. Luckily, there are many ways to improve the chances that your IT project will succeed. In my last article I discussed the importance of getting an iteration of your project into end users’ hands as early in the process as possible. This gives you time to adjust mid-stream if necessary (and it usually is). Today I’d like to discuss a closely related topic: Allowing time in your IT project plans to actually make these adjustments.

    Most Projects Need Multiple Iterations

    Especially when creating IT project plans for large development projects, you need to assume that the project will require multiple iterations. Why? Because:

    • End users need to see early iterations, so they can provide much-needed feedback (as discussed in my last article)
    • Testers need to see early iterations, so they can de-bug their tests while the project is being developed
    • The project team might run into unforeseen technical difficulties, which can require additional iterations to resolve
  • Increasing Business / IT Alignment When Getting from Need to SolutionBy Paul Hoekstra
    Associate

    It has been estimated that over 70% of all system outages are a direct result of changes that have been made to the operational environment. It's no coincidence that at many organizations, IT has in effect lost control of the production environment and is in constant firefighting mode. The regular unpredicted downtimes, missed deadlines and cost overruns deteriorates the value of the IT organization as a whole and the trust in the CIO in particular.

  • 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 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.

  • 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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