NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Last year, Forrester Research Inc. Chairman and CEO George Colony lobbied for changing the name of IT to BT, or business technology. He's back. Colony kicked off the firm's annual spring fling, IT Forum 2007, with "Seven Things I Would Tell Your CEO Over Coffee."
- It's not IT anymore … it's BT.
The gloss: BT is now your business, and your business is technology: information technology affects revenue, profit, market share, cost reduction and the loss of a ton of money if one of those wires you used to equate with IT gets cut.
- When it comes to technology … stop being clueless.
The gloss: A board of directors would never let a CEO get away with not knowing anything about finance or marketing. The CEO has to understand in general terms what the technology is about and how it is changing his or her business and customers.
- It's not always the CIO's fault … in some cases, it's your fault.
The gloss: The big, expensive SAP implementation blew up, so you fired the CIO. What about you, who brought in customer resource management but didn't change the way the sales force is organized or how the company does business, so it failed? BT is not about fault; it is about collaboration.
- You need four players to get business technology right.
The gloss: The four are: a CEO who is not clueless about IT; technology knowledgeable business executives, or TKBEs; the CIO; and a "techie" on the board of directors.
- The CIO should not be -- indeed cannot be -- the driving force behind business process change and innovation.
The gloss: Process and innovation is about the business, which is run by other executives.
The gloss: Technology can't function in a vacuum; it needs the right process and the right organization to work.
- When you're looking for your next CIO, look for a teacher.
The gloss: IT executives are in the business of helping other executives understand what technology can do for the business.
Forrester Research Inc.
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