Systems are failing, initiatives are stalled, budgets are broken, business partners are departing, and department morale and productivity have hit rock bottom. As the incoming CIO, it’s your job to bring a long-neglected IT organization back to where it can support essential operations and services — and move forward on long-delayed modernization initiatives.
Getting a failed IT organization back on track is a tall order, but when completed, doing so creates an accomplishment a CIO can point to with pride throughout their career. Here are seven steps any incoming CIO can use to jettison a predecessor’s mess and guide an IT organization rebuild through to its successful completion.
1. Set the tone right away with the right messaging
A CIO who was hired or promoted with the goal of putting the enterprise’s IT operations back on course doesn’t have time to waste. While a start-from-scratch approach may be impractical, the new CIO should at least signal to the IT leadership team that such an option remains possible.
“Recognizing that a new top leader is willing to make broad changes will prepare the current IT management structure for the deep probe of their departments that the CIO will likely make,” says Ola Chowning, a partner with technology research and advisory firm ISG. Upsetting the status quo also signals to the entire IT organization that the change at the top will be more than just skin deep. “It could allow for the real cream in the organization to prepare for a potential rise to the top, or even prevent their flight,” she notes.