CIO Development

Blog New integrated corporate technology leadership

Is it too soon to announce the arrival of integrated corporate technology leadership? We don’t think so.

We’ve already had several years of debating the merits and distinctive qualities of digital strategies, CDOs (digital), CDOs (data), the reinvention of the CTO and the rise of digital architects. Regardless of where they began corporate life (reporting to the CIO or CMO) we are quickly moving towards a world where some form integrated corporate technology is essential and integrated technology demands a new breed of integrated corporate technology leaders.

We are recommending that we move beyond obsolescent concepts like IT professionalism and IT Executive Leadership to embrace and integrate the newer concepts of agile and lean and new methods like DevOps to keep up with the disruptive strategies of our born on the web and faster competitors.

How can we develop this new breed of corporate technology leadership? We’ll be announcing our way shortly and we’d love to hear about yours.

Corporate Technology Leadership – CIO Development


Easter Post – Response from Corporate Tech Leaders

Wow, we asked for feedback and comment on our corporate tech leaders blog post and that’s what we got, from some very eminent corporate tech leaders themselves. The comments chain below and my efforts to respond tell the story:

 These are excactly the kinds of sentiments we’ve been picking up. After Easter we’ll be announcing our new Digital Leaders Academy programme, which has grown out of three previous Academies designed to get corporate tech leaders up the digital learning curve. We’re there now and we’re in it together.

14 comments on “New integrated corporate technology leadership

  • 18 May 2016 | WilliamKix says:

    I value the forum post. Fantastic. Timoteo

  • 10 Mar 2016 | Craig Eblett says:

    The language of bringing together “integrated” corporate technology leadership sums up for me what has gone so wrong. Some organisations, dissatisfied with their current IT organisation performance, thought best to separate “digital” from “technology”. If the existing IT function was unable to meet the needs of the business then we should not be surprised by the outcome – the root cause needs fixing in addition to aligning the leadership roles. “Digital” and “Technology” are different sides of the same coin; similar capabilities deployed with a different ethos and approach, separated through perspective, outlook and hype. Some organisations are coming full circle, having been through digital/technology separation and are re-aligning under a CDIO which is welcome, not for the “IT Department”, but for the business. Both sides of the coin have a lot to learn from each other………

    • 12 Mar 2016 | Brinley Platts replied:

      You’ve got it Craig. I agree completely with your analysis although I also believe that IT career professionals in traditional technology departments could have managed the arrival of “digital shadow corporate IT” much better than they have. There is a ways to go yet but I am much more optimisitc that the tide will turn than i was a couple of years ago. With a little Relate counselling we’ve a future together I think.

  • 07 Mar 2016 | Stephane Flaquet says:

    I like the concept of integrated corporate technology leadership. We have read for a long time that the CIO of the future needs to understand the business better to become a true business partner. I actually think it is far more important for business leaders to understand technology. It is as critical to run their businesses than it is to be able to read a P&L or a commercial contract.

    The disruption we are going through is not only technological. It is cultural. In the current business environment, the divide that used to prevail between ‘Business and IT’ or between ‘Change and Run’ is getting in the way. Companies which will be able to break silos beyond existing organisation structures, reporting lines and job titles to get people to truly collaborate are the ones that will win in the long run.

    • 12 Mar 2016 | Brinley Platts replied:

      You are so right Stephane, and as I am fond of asking: “who is responsible for educating our business leaders on the impact of technology on their plans?” Your questions begs: “who can educate and lead the business on culture change?” HR? I doubt it.

  • 07 Mar 2016 | Gareth Wharton says:

    the key to good technology leadership is translate technology into business speak, but as Brinley mentions, the next generation of business leaders need to be technology leaders, and vice versa. As more technology spend (think Google adwords) lives outside of IT, this is going to be a key area of how we organise our teams in the future

  • 06 Mar 2016 | Brendan O'Rourke says:

    The technology leader of the future is first and foremost a business leader with a deep understanding of technology and the customer. Possible responsibilities of this role will include product & service innovation, customer experience, customer service management and digital transformation – holding onto the architecture & governance whilst letting go of operations and even delivery (embedded) will be critical to increasing the influence broadly across the business. An initiative aimed at developing these broader more influential technology leaders is a great initiative.

    • 08 Mar 2016 | Brinley Platts replied:

      I love the vision Brendan. Peter Brickley (CIO SABMiller) told the CIO mentoring scheme that they must be business leaders first and always. But they must also be able to lead your long list of technology related disciplines. Is it easier to take a business leader and teach them what they need to know about tech, or the other way around?

  • 06 Mar 2016 | Cindy Hoots says:

    I think this is a great idea and prepares us to move from IT as a service provider into IT as a driver of business results!

    • 08 Mar 2016 | Brinley Platts replied:

      This is key Cindy. IT as a service function only made any sense in the context of shortage and economy. I believe the most critical shortages in business today are the vision and drive to re-imagine and transform.

  • 06 Mar 2016 | Dylan Roberts says:

    Corporate Technology Departments need to die. Business unit leads and middle managers must become digitally savvy and understand about open standards, data models, information management and the digital market place/disruption in their verticals/areas. In the same way as business leads manage budgets, manage human resources they must manage information and technology. Further from a product or service development perspective digital needs to be front and centre. You must understand digital and your vertical. The Office of the CIO or CDO is significantly reduced and considered the holistic view in terms of the emergence and interoperability of standards across the “ecosystem”.

    • 08 Mar 2016 | Brinley Platts replied:

      Thanks for your insight Dylan; you’re on a heck of a journey.
      Chris Potts (author of the Fruition books) has a vision of the future where corporate IT disappears entirely, the reason being that skills and disciplines that began life in IT would osmose into other business functions. In a sense the whole becomes a technology organisation. Not too different from what you are advocating.

  • 05 Mar 2016 | Rob Harding says:

    Technology Leadership is at its best when you can blend technology specialism with a deep understanding of your customers and a wide appreciation of your industry. When you get the combination right you can build the relationships that will allow you to collaborate on the things that will move your business forward.

    To create these technology leaders of the future you have to establish an environment where people can continue to learn and move beyond traditional organisation structures.

    • 08 Mar 2016 | Brinley Platts replied:

      I agree wholeheartedly Rob and this has proven to be an intractable challenge.
      What’s new and needs quickly fixing for matters not to get worse is that our current technology leaders are too often not even master of the whole tech domain.

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