While some CEOs recognize the expanding role that the IT organization must play as a partner in creating new value, there are still too many companies where IT is perceived as a nonstrategic service provider or cost center. So how can CIOs change this perception and break down the internal boundary separating IT from the rest of the business?
Stories by Michael Rapken
Although I was hired by YRC Worldwide nearly two years ago to create a strategy to drive innovation, I quickly realized that there was more work to do within IT than just creating a strategy. In the wake of the merger of Yellow Freight, Roadway and USF, the IT groups from our three companies operating in multiple locations had been merged into one unit but had yet to jell into a cohesive team. Adding to the stress from its change of identity, the group had to develop an application road map for the merged organisation that would modernize and simplify the application portfolio. Only then would we be able to free up the resources needed to focus on innovation and driving growth. The IT transformation is the biggest change effort ever seen within IT, ultimately involving hundreds of people.
The size and scope of such a task requires change leadership from the CIO. I have to be actively involved, and it's a tough balancing act. I've been spending between 20 to 30 per cent of my time as the hands-on manager of our change initiatives during the past 18 months while at the same time fulfilling my strategic role.