Modern Middle Manager
Primarily my musings on the practical application of technology and management principles at a financial services company.
What's in Your CIO?

Monday, October 11, 2004  

On is an article about the nature of the CIO role. Is it more of a strategic position working with the executive board? Or a low-cost support function reporting to the CFO?

Hmm. Quite the false dichotomy in our case. We have a third way -- both. We work hand in glove with one line of business, participating pretty fully in its initiatives. Our other line of business generally gets the low-cost support as we continue to drive down IT expenses by standardizing, consolidating and virtualizing. We provide them a stable computing environment and tactical project support but not much more. This situation, although dictated by politics, has shown some important fruits.

Presuming I had to choose investing the company's dollars between the two lines of business, which would I pick? The one we're already investing in. I can measure the return for most of these projects. The ones I can't project an ROI for are at least justified by mitigating risk. I can help the other LOB reduce costs and maybe improve productivity, but I can't give it the services necessary to compete in the marketplace. The competitive landscape moved a while ago for it and, for various reasons, it never caught up. Without a significant investment I don't think it ever will.

I have no vision, no grand plan for how to help our other LOB. Like a sick friend, I can at least make it comfortable.

posted by Henry Jenkins | 10/11/2004 06:51:00 PM

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