Modern Middle Manager
Primarily my musings on the practical application of technology and management principles at a financial services company.
Next Year's Strategy

Friday, August 01, 2003  

CIO Online has an article I was reading today about the communication gap between CIO and CEO. On the same website there's a response to Nicholas Carr's assertion that "IT Doesn't Matter Anymore." Both articles have something in common -- it's a tough battle to fight the fog of B.S. that surrounds technology to actually help the business.

Now that it's over halfway through the year (and 60% of the way through my budget), I'm looking at what the big initiatives will be for next year. Although I will probably do my rounds with senior management and most of the department managers, trying to assess their goals and figure out what my department can and should do to support them, I have to admit that it becomes more of a taffy pull every year. So I pull out my handy pocket CTO guide and see what I can think about for next year -- can I add value, cut costs or reduce risk? Hmm...the money is going to be on reducing risk.

Adding value implies we have a business strategy. We don't, so we can safely throw that out. Sure, there will be some more internal application development primarily involving the delivery of information to management (aka "even more reports"). But nothing radical is coming down the pike that I've been told. Cutting costs is a little tougher because reducing some of those juicy costs (e.g., maintenance contracts) would involve increasing risk, not reducing it. The thin-client strategy will help, as will staying away from upgrades we don't need (Windows/Office XP is a bloated piece of crap). Finally, there's reducing risk.

Reducing risk is about the only rubric left here under which I have good reason to start projects. Reducing risk includes availability, redundancy and security. That should keep us busy all of next year. I'm sure I can relate the reduction of risk to the reduction of my golf handicap. Heh. Not.

posted by Henry Jenkins | 8/01/2003 03:02:00 PM

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