Five big ideas for reinventing IT

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Driven by a need to meet rapidly evolving business requirements, CIOs find themselves writing a new playbook, one focused on agility, overcoming old habits and technical debt, reskilling the workforce, and even reshaping the IT mandate.

The big ideas offered here came up in CIO’s recent CIO Think Tank discussions on IT reinvention—virtual roundtables that brought together 36 IT leaders to unpack this important issue. [Editor’s note: Download the full Think Tank report here.]

They won’t work for every organization, but if one applies to yours, you’ve gotten your time’s worth, many times over.

Throw out your strategic plan

“I stopped using a strategic plan, ‘This is what we’re going to do in year one, this is what we’re going to do in year two,’” said Rodney Nobles, CIO/CSO, Waukesha County Technical College, Wisconsin. Instead, Nobles created a simple “brand statement” for IT: reinvent, rethink, repurpose processes and technology so people can have content anytime, anywhere, on any device.

That’s easy to remember and gives the IT department a laser focus. Everything the team touches should focus on achieving that brand statement, Nobles said, “or we don’t do it. We’re education, so we’re about enrollment, retention. and completion. And that’s what we work towards—none of this other stuff that doesn’t matter.”

Create internal incubators for innovation

Several IT leaders noted the use of incubators to help develop more significant ideas, with expectations set differently from the usual requirements and pressures for immediate ROI.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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