Course Work Example: The CIO and IT Leadership

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Sewanee University of the South
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Course work
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Technology is fast transforming the way we carry out business transactions, and in a modern era, it is necessary for organizations to have a digital leader who will enable the company to compete in the new style of the market and the contemporary business strategies. In this case, the CIO is an executive role in an enterprise in charge of the information technology layout and all the computer systems in alignment with the objectives and goals of the organization. The functions of a CIO may vary from one organization to another, but the roles of the CIO are outlined as follows. Firstly, the CIO carries the responsibility of seeking new and innovative ways through which the organization can transmit and analyze electronic information. Secondly, the CIO creates collaboration links with other departments of the organization to meet the organizational goals. Thirdly, the chief information officer ensures that the IT budget is balanced. Lastly, the CIO is tasked with the role of acting as the team leader and in the IT department and can, therefore, motivate the other members of staff to work toward attaining the institutional goals.

CIOs are responsible for ensuring that they protect the long term and the short term interests of the organization. They also take part in the governance of the business since they take part in decision making in the firm. Some of the desirable imperatives for a CIO include flexibility, insightfulness, independence, and self-awareness. The role played by a CIO has evolved over the years because the way that organizations are adopting technology has substantially changed has placed new demands on the roles of the CIO and the expectations on them. CIO leadership may vary from the other forms of leadership because leaders need to have first-hand knowledge about their roles as well as organizational leadership. IT managers in an organization need to exhibit leadership for the sole reason that they are the leader-head in their departments and therefore should motivate other members of staff. The traditional roles of a CIO included IT management, innovation and

Managing the Costs of IT

Fiscal budget in IT is the excess budget that is created to cater for any fiscal deficits that will result if the total expenditure of the IT department is spent beyond the allocated resources. On the other hand, the functional budget is the cost and income plan which is created for catering and meeting the requirements of the IT department.

The components of the functional budget include the allocation for the running, growing, and the transformation of the IT facilities. On the other hand, the fiscal budget contains some funds for remedying the deficits in the budget. These funds include the value of resources which cover inflation and the cost of reduction of assets.

IT budgeting is a vital element since it sets the plan of how to spend the money allocated to the IT sector without going beyond the set limits. IT budgeting process takes into consideration some essential elements like what and who does the budgeting affect and the best way to do IT budgeting in the right way. After considering those factors then can the IT budgeting process allocate the required resources depending on the importance of each element of the IT infrastructure. One of the common forms of determining the expenses incurred in IT includes the calculation of ROI. This is arrived at by evaluating the gains made by investing in the IT systems. Alternatively, the level of spending in IT is defined by looking at the IT spending as a percentage of the operating expenses.

One of the benefits of having a centralized budgeting plan is that it reduces interior competition within the organization. Alternatively, centralized reduces redundancies as well as reducing misappropriations of funds. Decentralizing, on the other hand, opens up channels for misappropriation of funds. One of the key IT budgeting practices includes aligning the IT budget with the organizations strategy. Another critical practice is ensuring that there is a budget allocated to run, grow and transform the IT infrastructure and the organization as a whole.

The Value of IT

According to Nicholas Carr, the IT system can no longer give an organization competitive advantage over other firms. This is because most businesses have adopted as a common factor of production that it can no longer be considered to place a firm in a strategic position. The adoption of IT has become a very common cost for doing business that they must be paid for and cannot, therefore, count as a difference between companies.

Despite the claims which have been made by Nicholas Carr that IT doesnt count, there have been discussions which have been done to counter the claims by Nicholas Carr. For instance, firms can gain an edge over competitors by having a superior insight of how they will implement and use the technology to their advantage. Another argument against the claims made by Nicholas Carr is that the use of technology can be used to open up new markets. This assertion is converse to Nicholas Carrs argument that technology cannot count as an advantage to one firm over the others. Lastly, Nicholas claim has been countered by the argument that the use of technology is effective for a business entity as it opens up new opportunities in different measures for every business entity.

Compete versus Qualifiers categorization schemes which are used to determine whether the investment put in place by a company will only allow it to qualify to be in business or it will give it an edge over its competitors. This scheme can be applied when choosing technological resources that match the ambitions of the organization.

An IT system can be evaluated by looking at the impact that the use of the scheme impacts on the performance of the company. The next item to consider is the level of support that the utilization of the technology has on the business. If an information system is said to provide the desired turnaround which places the firm in a strategic position, then the IT is said to meet its set objectives. The five layers of value for IT include physical, data link, network, transport, and application.

IT value proposition is the clear statement that sets out how the IT system is going to solve the current problem experienced by the user as well as the benefits that they stand to gain from the IT system. The best practices to apply in the formation of a good value proposition include clarity, concrete communication, and uniqueness. The five key strategic factors for effective strategy development include engagement, communication, innovation, project management, and culture. The three levels of measurement in IT include nominal which is used for the attributes which are already known. The other form of measurement includes ordinal measurement which can be ordered and finally interval measurement which considers the range of two components.

The three methods linking metrics between IT and real business performance include investments, usage of the IT system and the success of the incentive program. The four original scorecard dimensions include financial aspects, customer/ stakeholder, internal process and the organizational capacity. A good design program should start with a self- reflection of itself and provide an amnesty for the past. Another important aspect to note is to create the core functions of the organization in line with the technological infrastructure of the company. The next is to fix the existing infrastructure by taking advantage of the available talents and focusing on what is controllable.

Planning the Future State of IT

One of the internal benefits of a technology roadmap is that it outlines the strategic steps that will be followed to achieve the set objectives. Another advantage is that it opens up benefits for upgrading the companys technological backbone. Externally, a technology roadmap is beneficial in the sense that it allows for the communication of the strategic plan and all the details to all the other stakeholders who will be important through the process. Secondly, the possession of a technology roadmap allows a firm to relate well with all the other entities relevant to the company which will then facilitate the downstream flow of information.

The major elements of technology roadmap include the know-how, the scope of the activities, the direction through which the process will take, and the capabilities to undertake the roadmap. The fundamental guiding principles used in developing technology road map include incremental improvements, possessing the ability to buy and build at the same time, having a clear roadmap that can be followed and the possession of a program establishments which seeks to create an overall, comprehensive change in the management and adopted approach. The importance of technology classification scheme is that it determines the structure in which an organization stores its information. Additionally, technology classification system is necessary for the sense that it portrays the structure of how the business functions are run based on the IT system. The classification schemes for technology include scientific classification, information classification and data flow and retrieval. The criteria used for migration include the importance of information, retrieval process, and the used infrastructure. The import elements of governance of an information system include the scope, the vision, state and the specific conditions.

When developing a technology roadmap, it is imperative to consider the available facilities of the firm and how they can all be integrated together to meet the objectives of the company. Another important factor to consider include the applicability of the system and for how long all these technologies are used. One of the benefits which can be accrued from a standardized IT infrastructure is that it is more compatible. A standardized system also creates a better-structured work environment for all employees as well as giving uniformity to the infrastructure. On the other hand, a standardized IT system offers disadvantages in the sense that it creates an outlined flow of information which then limits creativity in a firm.

IT Governance

One of the measures that can be taken to improve the performance of a board of management when it comes to IT is through provision of training for the members. This enables them to gain a deeper insight into the IT systems. Secondly, boards of management need to gain an understanding of the threats that IT systems face. Additionally, it is imperative for them to understand the competitive issues relating to the use of technology. Lastly, board of managers needs to understand the critical role which an IT system play in an organization. IT governance need to account for the effectiveness of the system regarding improving the performance of the firm. Another question that IT management must answer is the threats that a system is likely to face. Lastly, IT governance seeks to explain the competitive advantage that the firm stands to gain.

The IT decisions that IT management needs to consider include the strategic issues that have become abundant in the recent years. Another decision which is important is about the logistics as well as the chain of operations. Another important aspect to consider include the revenue generation and cost-cutting initiatives that should be under taken by the company. In most firms, the people who take part in decision making include accountants, senior managers, the board of management and an IT expert. The IT roadmap is important in determining how the use of technology will improve the operations of the firm. Secondly, an IT roadmap defines the necessary processes used to deliver value to t...

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