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Guest post by Steve Chaffee, Solution Architect

“So, the CIO walks into the CEO’s office…”

DON (CIO): “Hey, boss…what’s up?”

CLAIRE (CEO): “Sit down.”

DON:  Gulp.

CLAIRE:  “Relax.  I just wanted to discuss your IT budget proposal for the new fiscal year.”

DON:  “I know it’s higher than last year’s, but we’ve cut three years in a row.  There’s been a huge explosion of data, and it’s coming from everywhere – it’s all we can do to keep up!”

CLAIRE:  “Oh, I know it’s been challenging, but…”

DON:  “I think we can squeeze a little more to offset the cost of new servers in the data center…”

CLAIRE:  “Stop.”

(Startled, Don sees she’s serious.)

CLAIRE:  “Don, explain to me how our company’s IT enhances our business strategies.

DON:  Don replies smugly, “We brought the Exchange upgrade in under budget, and the desktop replacement project is finally complete …”

CLAIRE:  “Don, please…just listen for a minute, and let me get more specific:

  1. Can we trust our own information to make mission-critical decisions?
  2. Do our reports reflect past performance or do they look forward, for opportunistic decision support?
  3. Do any of these investments in IT deliver measurable improvements to our profitability, or is it just supporting a growing status quo?”

DON:  “Wow…didn’t see that coming.”

CLAIRE:  “Look, I see companies getting knocked off because they didn’t foresee game-changing, IT-powered innovations from competitors.  Frankly, it seems we’re just feeding an already-bloated monster.”

DON:  “What exactly are you saying?”

CLAIRE:  “I need you to shift the IT emphasis … and energies… toward growth-enabling initiatives.  Not just stashing more data, but business agility.”

DON:  (Thinks to himself, “Who’s going to manage day-to-day operations?”)

Narrator:   What do you think?  Is this conversation happening in your organization today and is it Ripe or is this just a bunch of Hype?

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