People, processes and technologythese three, in that order, are the keys to managing any successful it organization. To gain the best results in each of these key areas, a cio should emphasize skills and competencies, services management and governance, and, as the organization matures, implement an adequate project investment portfolio. More specifically, to build a global it organization that delivers business benefits, consider the following:
Centralize the entire IT function
Treat IT as a service business within the context of the larger organization.
Enforce global standards and reduce the technology footprint
Standardize and streamline the technology footprint, including the number of strategic partners you deal with. But allow for standards that permit localization.
Validate the strategy "on the road"
Present the IT strategy as a hypothesis, and take it around the world as a management road show, testing and validating it with the divisions and local management teams. Continue these road shows during and after the strategy has been implemented to obtain feedback and make adjustments.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, be consistent, repeat yourself and enforce your principles. Lessons learned are only valuable when applied.
Deliver on your promises
Demonstrate short-term results and balance them with your long-term goals.
Establish standard skill sets and competencies
Enable staff rotation to foreign offices without re-training.
No technology in a vacuum
No IT projects, only business projects with IT components
No management in a vacuum
No IT project without business and IT owners, and no "sponsors," please, only committed and accountable "owners" for results and completion.
Build a multicultural framework
Have an appreciation of what it takes to bring people of different cultures together. Without it you cannot achieve globalization.
Develop a "mosaic view" of the world
Understand how IT, business and processes are related. When one piece changes, it impacts somewhere else because it is part of an integrated, global picture.
Never stop making the rounds
Appreciate cultural diversity, as it is the only way to lead a multicultural workforce.
This article was originally published on 08-01-2004
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