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November 08, 2012


Scott Brightwell

I recognize that Gartner was pointing out the primary role of the CIO as an individual. As I read through this applying it to the IT department as a whole in most of my customers, I'd say that all of these roles are happening in parallel based on the various business units that touch large IT shops.

These groupings fairly well describe different relationships IT has with the business at large or with individual BU's (all at the same time). I can see where a progressive IT shop would have a "lower left" relationship with the legacy app owners and in parallel have an "upper left" relationship new app dev groups. At the same time, they would support "right side" relationships with the Big Data groups and BU's undergoing business model digital transformation.

In smaller shops the role of the CIO and of IT may be boxed into one or the other of these quadrants, but larger environments are more varied in their business unit relationships than Gartner gives them credit for on the surface.

Scott Brightwell

Wouldn't you know I just saw in the original Gartner post that these four dominant futures "are not mutually exclusive and may exist in combination." Well that I agree with.

Chuck Hollis

Scott -- great thoughts, thanks.

The Gartner disclaimer not withstanding, the material reads as somewhat distinct and isolated approaches driven by the CIO.

But, as you rightly point out, the world is never quite so simple.

Jason Blyth

IMHO businesses tend to treat their traditional use of internally focussed IT somewhat like a 'loveless marraige'. Happy to complain yet comfortable to persist with the existing services. These ususally running in the cost-centre rationed supply model. Often the number of variables and dependencies are too great in number to gain enough momentum to adopt a large-scale shift in consumption patterns. That is unless you have a evangelical shoot first type high up in charge.

Agree that within the same business you can have in parallel the emerging 'top-right' quadrant initiatives which are striving to solve major problems, be service-based, fully virtualised/automated/orchestrated etc. But they are viewed as expensive, risky and often fall into trouble if they stay too long in architecture/design/test mode. They become vulnerable to the changing winds and tides of large organisational politics and funding cycles.

There is a lot to be said for 'taking the beach' with a new service based on what Gartner seems to describe as the top-right quadrant. Then getting your hooks into delivering deep value into a pocket of the organisation - like a new project for an influential business application owner.

Just my 5 cents worth.

Disclaimer: These are my personal opinions and not those of my organisation.

Rodolfo Reyes-Chilpa

The real CIO┬┤s challenge: common sense, open and receptive mind with true leadership and agility to transform old structures.
Not using case recipes from business schools ....


As usual, great insight,
My two cents:
I think the model is a smart extract of two major academic school of thoughts in strategy:
"Market based View, MBV" which is a an "external" view and the "Resource Based View, RBV" which is an "internal" view. It is also aligned with Hayes and wheelwright model in operations strategy

Now, filling out the definition and the needed steps to move, is the real art that I enjoy reading through different perspectives.

Thanks again

Chuck Hollis


Thanks for the different perspective.

In my travels, I inevitably meet people who are visibly constrained by their perceptions of available resources, or -- specifically -- what *could* be available with a bit of effort. Unfortunately, they fall into the trap of "no incremental resources available" so, of course, nothing can be done until that situation gets remediated for them.

Very rarely, do you meet someone who is comfortable with the market-based view.

-- Chuck

The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
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