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Avoiding the IT Management Crisis

In a series of recent stories, Dan Woods has made the argument that IT is facing a management crisis. Consumerization, Software as a Service, virtualization and cloud computing, and mobility are all stretching IT management skills to the limit. (See "The Coming Crisis of IT Management", "Eight Steps For Addressing the IT Management Crisis", and "How and Why Techies Must Lead and Manage IT Innovation" on Forbes.com)

The problem is that IT has not been managed well for some time. Too often, IT has been managed using a guild system in which each expert is left to their own devices.

In order to manage the accelerating complexity CITOs must improve their game and manage IT using the same sort of advanced techniques that are used by other managers.

Context and Background

In order to exercise leadership, CITOs must master the management of the IT portfolio. The problem is that most CITOs are stuck in level 1 of IT management, making the technology work as intended. CITOs never have time to rise to level 2 in which IT is aligned to meet the needs of the business. Level 3, where IT is optimized is almost never reached.

As the pace of change increases, the struggle to overcome level 1 will become more difficult. As the power of technology grows, the potential benefit from doing a good job at level 2 will dramatically rise.

The question is what must a CITO do to increase his performance at both levels?

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