Measuring success: Today's IT executives talk future feats

With mobility, the cloud and social networked environments becoming increasingly vital components of an IT department, executives are looking at new ways of measuring success of their IT teams in the future.

At the recent Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2012 in Orlando, Fla., site editor Wendy Schuchart asked a group of IT executives from a variety of industries, "What measure of success will be important to CIOs in 2016?"

Read the transcript from the interviews below, and watch the video to hear how IT executives are measuring success in a rapidly changing technology world.

What measures of success will be important to CIOs in 2016?

Sarah Martinez, director of IT, Leander Independent School District, Leander, Texas: I think in 2016 we're going to be looking at measuring success very differently than what we do now, and it's going to be about connectedness and collaboration, and transformation, and not about individual metrics about how often your network's up or those KPI [key performance indicator] networks. It's really going to be about the impact that we're having.

Clare Donahue, associate vice president of technology, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.: I work at a university, right? The change in technology, mobile, wireless, Wi-Fi … the students bring everything up into campus, and we have to able to adapt to that, and adapt what we do for the students to that [and] adapt what we do for faculty. Of course, we are online, lecture capture, course management systems -- all deal with a very mobile, social networked environment.

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Any CIO who is not paying attention to the influence of people bringing multiple devices in -- how secure their network is, how robust their network is, and mostly how adaptable they are to current trends, whether it's tablets… I can't even imagine what the next technology is going to be in 2016 when it comes to tablets and phones. Maybe it will just be one together.

I think that you have to be not entrenched in process, in bureaucratic establishments. You've got to be flexible. You've got to be agile. You've got to be able to leapfrog. Yes, you have core infrastructure foundations that need to take a steady line, but it's just all going to be different. If you can't be flexible, and adaptable, and figure out how to adjust your entity's needs for [its] customers, and support that infrastructure, or support that capability for the digital native, then you're going to be out of luck.

Charlotte Harris, director of technology, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority
Adaptability. I think there's a lot of stuff we measure today that is more operational types of things: availability of your application, availability of your data center, how fast you solved which ticket, those types of things. I think what we're looking at in the future is going to be how much value did we bring. It's really a value-creation kind of measurement, not an IT measurement. It's more of getting together with your partner that is a CMO, and implementing your marketing program, and whether or not that marketing program is successful. You're both measured on the success of that. I think it's about how much value you bring.

Sallie Moore, director of IS strategy and business resources, Texas Health Resources Inc.: There's been a lot of discussion here in previous years on how to use cloud technology and utilize that. I still see that as being very important in the future. As far as measuring success, one effort that we've been focused on is defining our key performance indicators in our success through our business organization -- really tying into our business goals and accomplishments versus more IT metrics. I think as we move forward, having that alignment with the business organization's goals is very important [in] moving forward with an IT-CIO or IT leadership.

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