Run IT like a business. I'm sure you've heard that edict a lot lately from vendors, consultants and fellow IT managers. It seems like a no-brainer. Of course it makes sense to run the IT function like a business. Many large organizations spend $50 million to $100 million on IT annually -- that's a decent-size business.Yet, there's ample evidence that we IT types have been so preoccupied with technical issues that we have neglected the business issues of IT.
There is no longer a one-size-fits-all job description for CIOs, and individuals can flounder in the role unless they understand this. Many organizations have acknowledged this trend. Just look at the proliferation of titles such as CTO, E-Business Architect, and Chief Knowledge Officer - they are clear evidence that the responsibilities of top IT executives don't always fit neatly in a single package. Still, many CIOs suffer from an acute identity crisis, and turnover among individuals in this top slot continues to be high.
In a year or so leading up to Jan. 1, 2000, most IT organizations relied, at least in part, on contract labour to get the job done, and contractors have certainly been a large part of the e-business ramp-up in many companies.