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Are you dependent on your IT director?

In the modern world, almost any business is closely related to information technology and has a dependency on IT. Automation of business processes, data analysis, decision-making systems are integral attributes of a mature business. At the same time, a qualified IT director or CIO (Chief Information Officer) is the professional who, on the one hand, provides IT business leadership, and on the other hand, has to build an IT management system in such a way that it (the system) does not depend on the human factor, including from the CIO itself. How to determine the CIO, who builds company dependence on himself/herself and IT department? And what to do with it? Helping our customers, we, CIOneer, observe 2 types of business dependencies on CIO: the first is the conscious linking of business to CIO (irreplaceable means dismissing is expensive for the business). The second is based on inadequate CIO qualifications, which also leads to the creation of business and CIO dependency on manufacturers. Direct signs when a CIO “ties” a business to itself knowingly:

  • The company does not have a white envelope (outside IT) that stores passwords for infrastructure and software administrators. Only CIO knows these passwords - we see about 40% of such companies.

  • CIO opposes independent auditing or control by the business. There are about 50% of these CIOs.

  • In your company going on «IT fires», which are impossible «put out» without CIO's personal involvement. Such CIO - 40%.

  • CIO is the only person who has access to a development platform (such as GitHub) and can publish there.

  • Coordination of all applications (maintenance, procurement, IT services) is tied to CIO.

  • Answers to specific business questions come down to a discussion with many technical terms in which the business gets confused in the third minute.

The best solution to this situation is «vaccination», namely, setting the rules of the game, separation of powers, in other words, implementing an ecosystem that will not allow CIO to create dependence. It is worth noting that such a scenario is rare, not more than 25%. It is much more difficult to free a company from its already deep dependence, from CIO and his division. There can be several scenarios here, from the simplest ones, such as introducing a profile specialist under the guise of hiring, to... Here we stop. Indirect signs that CIO creates a business dependence on itself:

  • There is no technical documentation for systems (ERP, CRM), especially self-written.

  • There is no map of IT risk and competency management, which will allow focused identification of IT bottlenecks.

  • IT department - a black box for business, there are technical KPIs, while poorly related to business performance.

  • The IT department has had a low flow over the past 3 years.

  • There is a high dependence on a single manufacturer (functionality, process, technology), which constantly raises prices for its services without improving the product itself.

What CIOneer recommends as a «quick fix»:

  • Store portions of administrator’s passwords in different bank cells.

  • Send your CIO on vacation for 2 weeks, while forbidding him/her to communicate at work and check how critical the dependence of the business on him/her.

  • Conduct an independent IT risk analysis (possibly even an anonymous audit) and an assessment of the competencies of IT personnel.

  • Deploy in 2 weeks (confirmed by experience) IT competency assessment matrix and dependency on IT staff define a roadmap to minimize such risks.

In addition, there are additional tools that may include rotations within the IT department, simulating a failure or removal of equipment, career planning cards for key personnel, and much more. The biggest business problem associated with IT is that about half of the owners and CEOs feel (understand) their dependence on IT, but do not know how to get rid of it. We wish you all a professional and productive IT.

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