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Do we need CIO support to succeed

By ITIL® from Experience©

Support from the Chief Information Officer (CIO) may be required depending on the nature and impact of the change. Even if people, process, technology and governance are impacted it is the breadth and depth of the change that determines if support from the CIO is required. Three scenarios related to procurement will be used as illustrations.

In the first scenario the IT organization needs to amend a supply contract to offer additional devices to users. As a result the procurement, build and deployment process(es) may also need to change. Although this can be a significant change to the people involved as they need to learn a new technology and procedures, it usually does not need the support of the CIO to succeed since the fundamental aspect of the business model is not changing. For the organization, the change is within its current frame of reference or framework. The breath is not wide and the depth is not profound.

For the second scenario, the organization decides to re-engineer, end-to-end the device procurement process. The work will change the process from the time IT receives the request to the invoice payment by the Corporate Finance group. Given that the breath of the change spans two divisions (IT and Finance) and several operational units, it is easy for people to have a different interpretation of the desired end-state. Therefore, the CIO, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and management support is advisable to ensure that everyone, at all levels works to the same vision and objective(s).

Thirdly, the organization decides to change the workstation and device procurement by outsourcing the entire process or to allow Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD). If the organization traditionally performed all the procurement, configuration and support of devices internally with unionized workers the CIO and even perhaps the support of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) may be required. Leadership and support for this transition will be required as it changes the fundamental way of doing business impacting both the tactical and operational frameworks of the organization. This change is deep as it affects values (in-house vs outsourcing) and beliefs (someone can do it better and/or cheaper than us).

Look at the change you are trying to accomplish. If the change has a lot of breath, depth or changes people's frame of reference, CIO and management support is required for success. Nonetheless, this support is only one element to consider for a successful change. Keep in mind that "The complexity and difficulty of the [change] process increase significantly at each new level of depth and breath, and diagnosis requires its own techniques to drive the change." 1


Last updated on: 2016-02-25


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1. The breadth and depth of change is discussed in "Fast Forward: Organizational Change in 100 Days" by Elspeth J. Murray, Peter R. Richardson, 2002, p. 25 http://www.amazon.com/Fast-Forward-Organizational-Change-Days/dp/0195153111/ref=sr_1_1/191-3699895-4953400?ie=UTF8&qid=1377128153&sr=8-1&keywords=fast+forward+organizational+change+in


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