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Alignment, communication among top CIO challenges

If you're a CIO, how do you deal with some of the most nagging challenges in your department? Thou shalt follow the 10 commandments of IT consultant and author Harris Kern.

Harris Kern

After assessing more than 250 Fortune 500 and Global 2000 IT organizations, I've compiled a list of the top issues and challenges plaguing IT executives:

    IT is not aligned with the business
  • Support/cost center mindset versus customer solutions provider mindset.
  • Services catalog may be missing or not well defined.

    Communication is ineffective

  • Between IT and the business
  • Within IT
  • Between IT and vendors/external service providers

  • I've cut as much as I can cut. It's still not enough. Now what?
  • How do I make what I have work?
  • How do I get out of what I have what I thought I was going to get out of it when I bought it?

    Organizational problems

  • Silos
  • Missing key functions
  • Technology-centric and/or functional-centric versus services-centric

    Process problems

  • Missing or ineffective
  • Bureaucratic
  • Minimum but sufficient

    People problems

  • Day-to-day behaviors are not aligned with or do not support organizational objectives
  • "Genetic makeup" of technology workers
  • Requires new ways to lead and manage if you want the behavior to change
  • Roles and responsibilities not properly addressed
  • Little-to-no focus on skills development/knowledge transfer, and mentoring

No wonder IT is still considered a cost center by its business counterparts in 70% of Global 2000 companies. A majority of these issues relate directly to the infrastructure and the organizations that support it. In order to effectively address these issues, IT organizations need to adhere to a set of guidelines or methodologies as they're designing that ideal IT environment.

All great organizations have a vision, a mission and elemental guidelines for proper behavior that are infused into their people. Perhaps the oldest code of conduct is the Ten Commandments. Since the day Moses stumbled off Mount Sinai, people have applied the idea of condensing their groups' rules into 10 easily remembered sentences.

Following the lead of Moses, I've distilled the methodologies for building the ideal organization into 10 commandments. If you want to build the ideal IT organization, be sure you embrace them.

Check out those 10 commandments tomorrow on

Harris Kern is an IT consultant, lecturer, author and publisher. His clients include Standard and Poor's, 20th Century Fox, Nike and Fannie Mae. For more information on the Harris Kern Enterprise Computing Institute, visit

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