The 2011 Mandate for C-Level Tech Executives

Susan Hall
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State of the CIO

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We here at IT Business Edge have been talking for quite some time about the radical changes taking place in IT, both in terms of technology and with the work force. (I was shocked at the number of results I got on a search of our site for the phrase "end as we know it.")


My colleague Ann All previously pointed to a report from the Corporate Executive Board's Information Technology Practice. It predicts that thanks to cloud computing and other emerging technologies, large chunks of traditional IT will vanish, with some roles taken over by external service providers and others becoming embedded in the broader business.


So when I asked IT resume specialist Jennifer Hay what tech executives need to do with their resumes to set themselves apart, she first wanted to think about the effect of all these changes. She collected her thoughts in this post, where she writes:

It is likely that IT will never return to pre-recession highs. The economy has triggered changes within the industry and going backward is not an option. The future of IT is forever changed. The only decisions to be made are where and how you will fit into this future.

We've published her response as a guest opinion. She says there are three major elements in the mandate for IT executives:


  • Create real and visible business value.
  • Enable business agility-it is less about agile development than eliminating slow-moving IT processes as a barrier to business responsiveness.
  • Do more with less-not just create more value, but eliminate the waste and inefficiency of traditional IT processes.


The tools to respond to this mandate include:

  • Transparency-getting rid of the black box and letting the business "see inside," breaking down the us-and-them relationship and replacing it with communication and trust, building a foundation that leads to collaboration.
  • Collaboration-with transparency and trust in place, true collaboration becomes possible for both business/IT collaboration and information-enabled collaboration among business processes.
  • IT Federation-built on the foundation of transparency, trust, and collaboration, federation makes it possible to harness all the technology and all the IT skills-both inside and outside of the IT department-to deliver maximum value with a high degree of agility and with minimum redundancy, waste, and rework.


She writes:

Resumes for IT executives need to address the issues that are important to the business. This is a straightforward statement of a very difficult task. But any hopes of becoming a trusted strategic partner mandates that IT executives change how they think about themselves, how they act toward others, and how they work with their team and within the organization. Anything less means being excluded from the inner circle.

You'll want to read the whole article. It's good advice not just for your resume, if you're planning a move, but also for keeping you focused in the job if you plan to stay, in justifying your position within the company-and in asking for a raise.

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