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  • 1. ResearchPublication Date: 23 March 2010 ID Number: G00174591The CIO as Architect: Leading CIOs Use EA Thinking toDrive Transformation and Enable Business SuccessBard PapegaaijLeading CIOs are strengthening their strategic and transformational position and role inthe business by incorporating enterprisewide architectural thinking and processes intotheir role. CIOs should leverage the techniques and perspectives detailed in thisresearch to increase their chances of success.Key Findings In many successful organizations, CIOs are extending their role and responsibilities to become strategic partners of the business. These CIOs incorporate architectural thinking and processes in their role definition. Successful CIOs become catalysts of change in their organizations and take an active role in the C-suite, collaboratively co-creating the business strategy.RecommendationsCIOs: Collaborate with C-level colleagues and other business stakeholders to actively define, influence and clarify the enterprises vision and strategy. Use architectural processes to explore the enterprisewide future consequences and implications of the enterprises vision and strategy to provide context and direction for the development of implementation and development strategies. Engage with business stakeholders to explore future states and their implications. Leverage the current-state architecture as an overview of the business landscape to evaluate the IT portfolio from a business capability point of view, including its relevance, sustainability, distribution across capabilities, and capability gaps and overlaps. Leverage ITs transformational potential to translate the enterprises strategy into effective business change.© 2010 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction and distribution of this publication in any formwithout prior written permission is forbidden. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed tobe reliable. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. AlthoughGartners research may discuss legal issues related to the information technology business, Gartner does not provide legaladvice or services and its research should not be construed or used as such. Gartner shall have no liability for errors,omissions or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof. The opinions expressed hereinare subject to change without notice.
  • 2. ANALYSISCIOs in Successful OrganizationsAnecdotal evidence, interviews and commentaries over the past few years clearly show a trend ofCIOs in successful companies defining or redefining their role in their organizations to be morestrategic and actively contributing to business development, growth and innovation. Asrecommended by Gartner, clearly defining ones role is a good practice for any CIO (see "Gartnerfor IT Executives Overview: Enterprise CIO"), and we see leading CIOs explicitly extend their roleand responsibilities to include architectural thinking and processes.Why CIOs Are Stepping UpInformation technology has become one of the most pervasive and critical elements of anybusiness capability, including transformational change. IT is a major game-changer and enablerof innovation and plays a crucial role in enterprise agility, competitive differentiation, and internaland external collaboration and communication. Because all of these are critical, strategic andcompetitive-advantage issues for todays enterprise, there is mounting pressure on CIOs to takeup full-fledged executive co-responsibility for the strategic success and development of theenterprise.CEOs, like most modern citizens, have become increasingly accepting of and knowledgeableabout IT. They no longer view IT as a purely technical issue and actively invite board-leveldiscussions about the role that technology plays in the enterprises vision, strategies andresilience. CEOs of successful companies dont expect just a smoothly running and well-organized, commoditized level of service from their IT, but also that their CIO is a sparring partnerand strategic co-creator of product and market development and revenue generation. At thesame time, IT is expected to play a central role in the constant process of development andrenewal of the enterprises capabilities, dictated by todays turbulent economic environment andprogressively accelerating rate of change.Two of the "Early Findings From the 2010 Gartner CEO and Business Executive Survey" state: Finding 3: Business leaders do see a "new normal" set of business conditions arising after the global recession, and IT will have a key role in their strategies. Finding 7: Most business leaders continue to expect ITs strategic value contribution to increase.Further, "IBM 2008 Global CEO Study: The Enterprise of the Future Implications for the CIO"asserts: "The study results foretell an Enterprise of the Future characterized by accelerating, wide- ranging and uncertain change.... CEOs who participated in the study are embracing it .... What does this new CEO agenda mean to CIOs? It challenges them to be leaders and masters of change as part of the broader corporate management team and to ensure that their IT team plays its full role in enabling the move toward the Enterprise of the Future."Architectural Thinking: A Working DefinitionArchitecture as a way of thinking concerns itself with effective enterprise change. Architecturalthinking has a number of typical characteristics:Publication Date: 23 March 2010/ID Number: G00174591 Page 2 of 6© 2010 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved.
  • 3. Holistic: It looks at the enterprise as a whole rather than at its individual components and studies the patterns and relationships that define its dynamics and structures. Environment-aware: It analyzes systems and the implications of strategic choices in the wider context of the environment that the enterprise and its systems operate in. Future-oriented: Its starting point is an envisaged future state of a system. Progressive: It describes how to move a system from its current state toward a desired future state.Enterprise architecture (EA) is a structured process for translating from the highest strategic levelall the way down to tactical and practical implementation choices. As a holistic discipline, it looksacross the entire enterprise to encourage synergy, coordination and collaboration. Architecturalthinking is visionary, strategic and practical: It explores and conceptualizes future states; it buildsstrategic road maps into the future; and it works out practical ways to move the enterprise towardits desired target state.Architecture in the CIOs RoleMany successful CIOs mention enterprise architecture as an approach that is essential to theirsuccess in their extended role and responsibilities. An architecture perspective helps these CIOsmeet five responsibilities.No. 1: Be an active and, where possible, proactive participant in definingthe business strategyWhereas EAs role is more a facilitative and enabling one (EAs "integrate with business strategicplanning to enable innovation" and "understand, advocate and support the enterprises ITstrategies" see "Role Overview: Chief Enterprise Architect"), leading CIOs take this a stepfurther and collaborate with their C-level colleagues and other business stakeholders to activelyinfluence, define and refine the enterprises vision and strategy.In "Filippo Passerini: Using Strategic Thinking to Enable IT" (published in Computerworld,December 2006), P&Gs CIO Filippo Passerini describes his proactive role in the company: t IT at the company .... with the goal of transforming IT from a back-office support function to a strategic business partner. The change is already leading to much greater IT-business collaboration on strategic issues and helping to chart the future course of the company."No. 2: Explore future states, and create road maps for the strategicdevelopment of enterprisewide future capabilitiesGartner states that "enterprise architecture supplies the future-state vision for the enterprise" (see"Gartner Updates the Enterprise Architecture Activity Cycle"). Leading CIOs actively engage withthe business to explore possible future states and utilize enterprise architecture (most often byleading or sparring with an enterprise architect or EA team) to develop road maps and plans todevelop the business capabilities needed by the business to successfully move into and operatein the envisioned future, even when that means temporarily suboptimizing short-term returns.Cisco CIO Rebecca Jacoby spoke at Cisco CIO Summit 2009 about "Understanding the CIOsEvolving Role": "You want to say: Look, this can make you productive, but if we architect this properly, youre going to be in great shape in your organization for years to come, because yourePublication Date: 23 March 2010/ID Number: G00174591 Page 3 of 6© 2010 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved.
  • 4. going to be able to make them productive today, but youre going to be able to add value for your business over time, rapidly, if you make the right architectural play."No. 3: Leverage an enterprisewide overview of information, systems andprocessesThe enterprise architect is responsible for documenting the enterprisewide current-statearchitecture (see "Gartner Updates the Enterprise Architecture Activity Cycle"). Leading CIOsleverage this current-state architecture to gain insight into the total IT portfolio (includinginfrastructure, applications and services) in relation to the enterprises current capabilities andcapability gaps (set off against the enterprises desired future). This then serves as the startingpoint to strengthen, develop and renew that portfolio in line with the enterprises strategic vision.CIOs use the current-state architecture as a reference library of currently available capabilitiesagainst which they can evaluate capability gaps and estimate the effort needed to either create orprovide these capabilities, or transfer or scale them up across the enterprise.It is important to note here that a current-state architecture is a fairly high-level mapping of currentcapabilities, not a detailed inventory of systems, applications and technologies. The level of detailshould be enough to sensibly analyze the gap between current and future capabilities, but nomore than that (see "Document Just Enough Current-State Architecture").No. 4: Translate business strategy into transformational business systemsand processesGartner defines "enterprise architecture" as the process of translating business vision andstrategy into effective enterprise change (see "Gartner Clarifies the Definition of the TermEnterprise Architecture"). Leading CIOs use an architectural approach to better translate thebusiness vision and strategy and leverage ITs transformational potential to help the enterprisechange.No. 5: Be a change catalystGartner says of the chief enterprise architect that "a primary goal of this role is to facilitatechange" (see "Role Overview: Chief Enterprise Architect"). Leading CIOs take this responsibilityone step further: Using their position in the C-suite and their enterprisewide involvement andinfluence, they become change catalysts and leaders of organizational transformation.The CIOs AdvantageEven in enterprises with a strong and mature EA team, with a chief enterprise architect reportingdirectly to the C-suite or CEO, the EA team has an advisory role and lacks C-level accountabilityfor the enterprises IT. That is in the hands of the CIO. The CIO is the only one who can step upto the business unit leaders, product line leaders and other executives, with authority andexecutive powers of persuasion. In addition, especially in large enterprises, the CIO is one of thefew executives with a truly enterprisewide overview and stewardship.Where the CIOs responsibilities overlap with those of the chief enterprise architect, the CIO is thestrategist and political player, whereas the chief enterprise architect is the expert advisor andsparring partner in the strategic arena. The chief enterprise architect and his or her team canexplore, analyze and advise the enterprise and develop a holistic enterprise architecture andsupport the CIO in taking an active role in the enterprises strategic development andtransformation. This helps the CIO to take full accountability for ITs role in this transformation andmake the decisions necessary to drive strategic change initiatives.Publication Date: 23 March 2010/ID Number: G00174591 Page 4 of 6© 2010 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved.
  • 5. In "Google CIO on ITs Role in Corporate Culture" (published in CIO Insight, December 2009),Googles CIO Ben Fried talks about how IT contributes to his company: "The CIO, the IT organization, has this unique vantage point. We are at the center of the companies that we are a part of. And as the center, we have this unique ability to understand every aspect of the company, how to differentiate the company not just commercially and competitively, but culturally as well."ConclusionTypical for leading CIOs is that they emphatically assume responsibility and accountability for ITthat delivers measurable business value and business capabilities. They become proactivepartners in the strategic thinking and decision making of the business and assume atransformational leadership role, breaking down the barriers between the business and IT. TheseCIOs are major change agents in the enterprise: They dont wait, for example, for the business tocome with needs and requirements they can then service, but proactively partner with thebusiness to deliver business capabilities that support the strategic direction and developmentobjectives of the enterprise. An architectural approach provides CIOs with a future-oriented,enterprisewide context within which to strategize the enterprises IT capability development andmake conscious and directed contributions to the enterprises strategic transformation. Theessence of the architectural approach for CIOs is in their unbending focus on the enterprisesbusiness capabilities needed in the future. This future-state view guides and is a touchstonefor their priorities, project portfolio, investment decisions and even the development path oftheir own departments internal capabilities.In "Managing IT to Support Rapid Growth: An Interview With the CIO of NetApp" (published inMcKinsey Quarterly, June 2008), NetApp CIO Marina Levinson discusses the changing attitude ofleading CIOs: "Within IT, a big challenge is getting people out of the order taker mode. We shouldnt be saying to our business partners, Tell us what to do. We should instead be saying, Tell us what your business challenges are, and dont worry how were going to get there. Lets work together, and well come back to you with a proposal for how we can change both the business process and the systems supporting it to get you to where youre trying to go."RECOMMENDED READING"Early Findings From the 2010 Gartner CEO and Business Executive Survey""Gartner for IT Executives Overview: Enterprise CIO""Role Overview: Chief Enterprise Architect""Gartner Updates the Enterprise Architecture Activity Cycle""Gartner Clarifies the Definition of the Term Enterprise Architecture""Executive Summary: Getting Shareholder Credit for IT""Executive Summary: Getting Priorities Straight""Leadership Development Module 6, Chapter 6: The Future CIO""Shape the New Role of the IT Strategist""Document Just Enough Current-State Architecture"Publication Date: 23 March 2010/ID Number: G00174591 Page 5 of 6© 2010 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved.
  • 6. Evidence"Early Findings From the 2010 Gartner CEO and Business Executive Survey""IBM 2008 Global CEO Study: The Enterprise of the Future Implications for the CIO"Interviews: "Filippo Passerini: Using Strategic Thinking to Enable IT," by Bob Violino, published in Computerworld, December 2006 "Understanding the CIOs Evolving Role," Rebecca Jacoby, speaking at Cisco CIO Summit 2009 "Google CIO on ITs Role in Corporate Culture," by Brian P. Watson, published in CIO Insight, December 2009 "Managing IT to Support Rapid Growth: An Interview With the CIO of NetApp," by Roger Roberts and Tom Stephenson, published in McKinsey Quarterly, June 2008REGIONAL HEADQUARTERSCorporate Headquarters56 Top Gallant RoadStamford, CT 06902-7700U.S.A.+1 203 964 0096European HeadquartersTamesisThe GlantyEghamSurrey, TW20 9AWUNITED KINGDOM+44 1784 431611Asia/Pacific HeadquartersGartner Australasia Pty. Ltd.Level 9, 141 Walker StreetNorth SydneyNew South Wales 2060AUSTRALIA+61 2 9459 4600Japan HeadquartersGartner Japan Ltd.Aobadai Hills, 6F7-7, Aobadai, 4-chomeMeguro-ku, Tokyo 153-0042JAPAN+81 3 3481 3670Latin America HeadquartersGartner do BrazilAv. das Nações Unidas, 125519° andar World Trade Center04578-903 São Paulo SPBRAZIL+55 11 3443 1509Publication Date: 23 March 2010/ID Number: G00174591 Page 6 of 6© 2010 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved.