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Transitional IT Leadership

Successful Leadership in the New COVID Reality

Successful leadership in the new COVID reality will require a new approach to overcome the unforeseen challenges presented by the pandemic. So many plans for 2020 have been paused or fully abandoned in the wake of more pressing concerns. Organizations must learn to adapt, to continue finding innovative ways to carry on, to begin looking ahead. Here are a few potential traps and ways to overcome them as leaders begin rising to the challenge:   COVID changed the landscape of many aspects of our lives. The world will no longer operate like it did prior to the arrival of this virus.  Leaders should challenge their assumptions, existing plans, and business models to consider what must, or should, be different now.  The future still remains uncertain, but it is certain that many aspects of life will not return to what they were before.  Creative contingency plans will help ensure that whatever [...]

By |2020-07-14T13:04:22-06:00April 13th, 2020|Innovation, Transitional Leadership|

Should IT Leadership enter the Gig Economy?

With the recent growth of the gig economy in all kinds of sectors and roles, it bears asking whether this kind of structure might be a cheaper option for more companies searching for top-level IT leadership.  Answering this question will have some nuances, but it seems clear that going with a "gig CIO" is worth considering, and is likely better than at least one all-too-common mistake in choosing heads of IT. When you hear “gig economy,” likely you imagine transactions with Uber or Upwork—companies that operate under a “pay by the drink” approach.  It's part of a larger trend which also encompasses the Cloud revolution, where you pay per month for the specific amount of compute and storage you've utilized.  In general, participants in our economy are increasingly preferring to pay for only what they use, in many categories of goods and services.   Approximately 57 million people (36% of U.S. [...]

By |2019-11-22T09:48:12-06:00November 22nd, 2019|Transitional Leadership|

Best IT Strategy for a Non-IT Startup? It Depends

Tech company startups are the darlings of the press and of venture capitalists.  It certainly seems that tech companies dominate the list of "Unicorns" and top IPOs from the last few decades.  Their pace of revenue acceleration (though not necessarily usually earnings) are breathtaking - at least for the few who make it "over the hump" to reach critical mass.  But these are far from the only startup businesses where key IT decisions are needed. In non-IT startup companies, the landscape of tech choices is different, although potentially just as impactful on the company's chances of success.  Tech isn't their product, but in many cases it may make up a significant part of their engine (there is a spectrum of IT impact, of course - that's one reason why "It Depends..")  Interestingly, from the myriad books on the topic of startups pumped out of publishing houses these days, very few [...]

By |2019-11-13T08:33:39-06:00September 12th, 2019|Innovation, Transitional Leadership|

How is IT Doing? Ask Business Leadership FIRST

"We do a great job.  90% of our KPIs and projects are in the green, and we had 99.9% uptime last month..." ...Comments like this can be indicative of successful IT shops, hitting on all/most cylinders and empowering their companies to great results. ...Comments like this can also come out of IT leaders' mouths in departments which are completely failing their businesses - possibly without them even knowing it.   Wait, you say.  How could Key Performance Indicators be put in place, or projects approved, without the business being on board?  And if 90% of them are in the green isn't that a good sign?  Not necessarily.  They could very well be meaningful, but KPIs may not really measure how well IT is supporting and empowering the business.   Consider these common situations: KPIs surrounding reaction times to requests, but none addressing proactivity KPIs about bug fixes, but none measuring the [...]

By |2019-10-01T17:14:05-06:00December 2nd, 2018|Assessments, Transitional Leadership|

Guidelines for Hiring a New CIO

A quick list of suggestions for interviewing and hiring a new CIO… CIOs are kind of like NFL coaches, who are either Offense or Defense specialists.  Generally we come up either the apps/data or the ops/infrastructure/security side of the career ladder.  Some may have experience in a smaller company on both sides, but they may have blind spots or not have a mature framework to think about the role.  This difference is greatly reduced once someone has been a CIO, because if they’re smart, they likely climbed the learning curve quickly on the other side once they got that responsibility. Most of the issues first-time CIOs often experience occur in leadership/culture, or from the other side of the ball where they’re weakest, so it’s often wise to choose someone from the side where your company feels weakest.  e.g. if your systems are stable and secure, but none of the reports [...]

By |2020-06-24T22:07:38-06:00May 24th, 2018|Transitional Leadership|

Why We Build Trust First for Innovation Success

"Build Trust First" is Innovation Vista's unique methodology for all engagements relating to change, transformation and transition.  We believe not only that it leads to success; we believe something like it is absolutely necessary for success! Gartner reports that 75% of Digital Transformation initiatives will fail, highlighting particularly higher risks when these are seen as "IT Projects".  That is a daunting estimate, but one based on real facts and track records.   ..and one we believe is based on human nature...   Trust is a universal Human Need Turbo-charger   Although we apply this approach to IT-driven transformation, it is truly in effect in every aspect of our lives.  Myriad leadership studies have proven the connection between success/efficiency/effectiveness and trust.  And each of us can confirm in our own lives the "difference" between situations where trust was absent vs. present; it is not difficult to recall in which situations we were at [...]