A Guide to CIO              Advisory ServicesWHITE PAPER
A Guide to CIO Advisory Services       Executive Summary       The IT function in both small and midsize businesses is und...
The Changing Role of the CIO       For simplicity, let’s agree to call the person who manages IT the CIO, because no      ...
Info-Tech’s action plan for building such a consultancy contains these steps:          •	 Forge links between business and...
Which of these disruptive technologies has the most promise? What competitive       advantage do they offer your organizat...
The rapid rate of technological change has already exceeded any company’s ability to       absorb and synthesize, and is s...
Ideally, a virtual CIO will have working experience with multidisciplinary IT teams       and many different organizations...
CIO Advisory Services Client Profile       Company: KippsDeSanto & Company, www.kippsdesanto.com       Business: Investmen...
About Brittenford Systems       Brittenford Systems is a technology services firm that implements and supports       finan...
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Guide to CIO Advisory Services White Paper | Brittenford

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The IT function in both small and midsize businesses is under stress. For years,
increasing competition for financial resources has forced virtually every IT
organization to do more with less, use existing IT assets and keep systems online.
At the same time, wave upon wave of disruptive technology offers potentially more
compelling value propositions or competitive advantages than the traditional data
center infrastructure. The push and pull of these competing forces can simply
overwhelm the ability of the IT director—or controller, CIO, CFO, President or
CEO, whoever does the job—to evaluate alternatives, adapt to changing business
needs, or simply keep up with existing projects.

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Guide to CIO Advisory Services White Paper | Brittenford

  1. 1. A Guide to CIO Advisory ServicesWHITE PAPER
  2. 2. A Guide to CIO Advisory Services Executive Summary The IT function in both small and midsize businesses is under stress. For years, increasing competition for financial resources has forced virtually every IT organization to do more with less, use existing IT assets and keep systems online. How can CIO At the same time, wave upon wave of disruptive technology offers potentially more compelling value propositions or competitive advantages than the traditional data Advisory Services center infrastructure. The push and pull of these competing forces can simply enhance the overwhelm the ability of the IT director—or controller, CIO, CFO, President or CEO/Owner’s or CEO, whoever does the job—to evaluate alternatives, adapt to changing business IT Director/CIO’s needs, or simply keep up with existing projects. personal effectiveness? Meanwhile, frustrated with the pace of response from IT, some business managers take matters into their own hands. Often called “shadow IT,” they may implement a • By temporarily assuming departmental solution or buy mobile devices, for example, without understanding part of the operational load, freeing them to identify needs, the full impact on the organization’s infrastructure, operations, or costs. Bypassing IT strategize, and partner with controls can lead to unfortunate results: creating more data silos or more seriously, business executives compromising data security. • By acting as an independent advisor or project manager Other managers complain that lack of alignment between IT and the business unit with comparable senior hampers their ability to achieve revenue or other goals. Such complaints undermine technology management the CIO’s ability to be an effective member of the management team. experience, but greater expertise in a particular domain In the worst case, the relevance of the CIO role is called into question. Critics have argued that IT is merely a commodity and a cost center; it does not require • By coaching and mentoring the IT Director/CIO as needed representation in the C-suite. If this point of view prevails, then no one speaks for the applications and infrastructure, and nobody takes a holistic, enterprise-wide • By augmenting available resources with project staffing view of the function it performs. Yet the IT infrastructure is called the “backbone” for good reason; it holds the organization together and enables it to move towards its business goals. While many mid-market companies typically have a CIO in place, start-ups and small businesses frequently don’t. Small business owners often act as their own CIO. They may not have the right skills or the right team to build and manage the infrastructure. Typically they have nowhere to turn for guidance. Certainly they don’t have time to do their own job and the CIO’s at the same time. In both small and mid-size businesses, CIO Advisory Services can enhance the owner’s or CIO’s personal effectiveness in a number of ways (see sidebar). This white paper explores the impact that such services can have on the business.1 A GUIDE TO CIO ADVISORY SERVICES
  3. 3. The Changing Role of the CIO For simplicity, let’s agree to call the person who manages IT the CIO, because no matter what their actual title is, they have certain role requirements to fulfill. These are more formalized in larger organizations and more ad hoc in small ones. Building and maintaining the infrastructure—the technology, applications, services, and What are the 4 staffing used to support the business—used to be the CIO’s only job. Now it is a core personas of the Next competency, one of the four main roles the “next-gen CIO” is being asked to play, Generation CIO? says Ray Wang, CEO and analyst, Constellation Research. The ideal CIO will play all four roles; the less well-rounded one risks losing some of his functions to business leaders and teams. Wang says this is starting to happen in many of his firm’s clients. 1. Chief Infrastructure Officer 2. Chief Integration Officer These roles, or “personas” as Wang calls them, are Chief Infrastructure Officer, Chief 3. Chief Intelligence Officer Integration Officer, Chief Intelligence Officer, and Chief Innovation Officer. Their profiles appear in Figure 1 (“How do you spell CIO?”), along with notes on three 4. Chief Innovation Officer dimensions of the role: How much of the total IT budget does that persona control? Does that role require a technology or a business focus? Is it internal-facing or external-facing? These roles move across the spectrum from an internal-facing technology focus to an edgier position with a dual technology/business, internal/ external orientation—and from an operational to a strategic perspective. FIGURE 1 How do you spell CIO? Role % of Budget Purpose Focus Faces Cost reduction; availability; maintenance of Chief Infrastructure Officer 65-70% Technology Faces Internally legacy systems Bring together business processes, data, systems, Faces Internally & Chief Integration Officer 5-10% Technology legacy systems and newer cloud-based approaches Externally Chief Intelligence Officer 10-15% Improve business user access to information Business Faces Internally Understand business strategy; keep up to date with Business & Faces Internally & Chief Innovation Officer 5-10% disruptive technology Technology Externally Source: 4 Personas of the Next Generation CIO (http://www.cio.com/article/671573/4_Personas_of_the_Next_Generation_CIO) A report from the Info-Tech Research Group recommends a similar movement from a purely technical to a combined technology and business focus. The title tells why: “Being a Strategic Enabler Ensures the CIO Role Remains Relevant.” According to the report, “as long as CIOs act like glorified operational managers, they will jeopardize the strategic influence of the CIO position. There will always be a need for someone to maintain servers and networks, but this person will not be needed at the executive table. Today’s CIO must find the balance between business needs and technology capabilities. This CIO needs to turn IT into an internal consultancy that will work to leverage the technological infrastructure to build new business functionality.”i2 A GUIDE TO CIO ADVISORY SERVICES
  4. 4. Info-Tech’s action plan for building such a consultancy contains these steps: • Forge links between business and IT strategies and processes • Develop indicators that link IT performance metrics to business goals • Secure resources for innovations by identifying opportunities rather than by cutting costs • Align IT team members with business units and leverage their capabilities by developing training opportunities The CIO Advisory Services model is geared to work with management as well as IT and systems staff in implementing these action steps. The 80/20 Rule Becoming a “next-gen CIO” is hardest on those who started as IT administrators, were promoted up through the IT ranks as the business grew, and have had their hands full “Customers currently just with maintaining availability. Wang notes that most CIO’s are in their comfort zone have an 80/20 paradox for the first two roles—Infrastructure and Integration—but have to stretch to perform as Chief Intelligence Officer and Chief Innovation Officer. These two roles, which – 80% is maintaining ideally control 20% of the IT budget, increasingly go to tech-savvy business leaders. the stuff you already have, 20% is getting Every CIO knows the 80/20 rule, the Pareto principle, stating that 80% of the effects to innovation. This come from 20% of the causes. The principle has many applications in business, such paradox is a main as that 80% of your orders come from 20% of your customers. The application driver for moving to that concerns us here is that based on Figure 1 above, 20% of the IT budget has to the Cloud.” produce 80% of the competitive advantages from technology. Rick Nucci, Founder and CTO, Dell Boomi As a practical example that companies of all sizes can relate to, consider the claims associated with cloud computing. Rick Nucci, founder and CTO of Dell Boomi, which markets a platform for integrating cloud and on-premises applications, says, “Cloud [computing] is more than moving IT from the data center and scaling it into the cloud. Customers currently have an 80/20 paradox – 80% is maintaining the stuff you already have, 20% is getting to innovation. This paradox is a main driver for moving to the cloud. Cloud provides the fundamentals (free trials, automatic upgrades, constant streams of innovation, reduced CapEx expenses) to flip flop the 80/20, so IT can deliver more innovation to their customers and focus less on maintenance.”ii And cloud computing is not alone in promising competitive advantages from innovation. Especially in mid-size and larger companies, various other disruptive technologies— Bring your own device (BYOD), mobile technology, social media, Big Data—clamor for attention. If they don’t get it from the CIO, they get it from business champions. IBM’s “State of Marketing 2012” survey found that fully 60 percent of marketers point to their lack of alignment with the company’s IT department as the biggest obstacle to reaching today’s consumers across new channels including mobile devices and social networks.iii Capgemini says that “The exploitation of Big Data fuels a step change in the quality of business decision-making,” but the biggest obstacle to taking that step for most organizations is finding qualified data analysts.iv3 A GUIDE TO CIO ADVISORY SERVICES
  5. 5. Which of these disruptive technologies has the most promise? What competitive advantage do they offer your organization? Which solutions should you select? How can you combine technologies and what could you accomplish if you did? How would that impact the systems environment and the bottom line? Should you migrate some of the legacy systems to the cloud in order to free up time and money to retrain and reallocate staff into other roles such as data analysts and application developers? These are the kinds of questions an internal IT consultancy under the direction of the Chief Intelligence Officer and the Chief Innovation officer would field. If such an internal consultancy does not exist, CIO Advisory Services can fill this gap. “From a technology perspective, it’s the best time in history to be in business as more capabilities are available at a lower flexible price point than ever before. However, navigating those options and turning them into business profits can lead to decision paralysis,” says Ryan Risley, Managing Director of CIO Advisory Services, Brittenford Systems. In addition to moving decisions along, a virtual CIO can help the whole organization focus on the big picture—a holistic view of business objectives and the infrastructure to support them. See the Big Picture For the record, let’s define IT infrastructure as cio.gov does: “IT infrastructure consists of the equipment, systems, software, and services used in common across an organization, regardless of mission/program/project. IT Infrastructure also serves as the foundation upon which mission/program/project-specific systems and capabilities are built.” Many argue—correctly, we think—that human resources are also vital components of the infrastructure. Ryan Risley, Managing Director of CIO Advisory Services, Brittenford Systems Infrastructure is the glue that holds the business together, and it is your biggest IT investment. Once built, the infrastructure provides a solid platform and enables business agility that empowers future application choices. Choosing and configuring the right components to build an IT infrastructure that is reliable, appropriate for your organization, and able to grow with it is a major challenge. That is why it comes first among “4 Reasons Why IT Matters More than Ever,” the title of a recent article in CIO magazine. Its author asks, “Who selects these vendors? Who comes up with the jargon necessary to translate business requirements into technical mandates? Who sorts through the requests for proposals?”v Even if IT is outsourced or consumed as a cloud service, these and similar tasks remain essential. As applications move to the cloud, infrastructure support staffers will evolve into vendor relationship managers.4 A GUIDE TO CIO ADVISORY SERVICES
  6. 6. The rapid rate of technological change has already exceeded any company’s ability to absorb and synthesize, and is still increasing. However, unlike most other areas of the organization, IT has formalized and systematized practices for change management— which is arguably the Chief Innovation Officer’s most necessary skill. It is based on taking a holistic perspective of the network architecture, process interactions, application capabilities and data dependencies that must come together for end-to-end delivery of IT services. You can never change just one thing in a systems environment; everything is interconnected. This realization gives IT practitioners respect for the Law of Unintended Consequences. The CIO—and any virtual CIO engaged for special needs—must be someone who understands the big picture, but can translate it and motivate people to take next steps. Otherwise, the inherent complexities become paralyzing. How to Choose a Virtual CIO We are in the middle of a paradigm shift comparable to the infiltration of personal computing into the “glass-house” data center of the 1980s and the Internet explosion of the 1990s. Most businesses will need help in planning and managing the transitions ahead. What should they look for and what should they expect from the CIO Advisory Services model? Figure 2 (“Advisory Services Model”) offers a way to visualize the four pillars of this model: strategy, domain expertise, mentoring, and resource augmentation. An established CIO Advisory practice is likely to offer all four components in a unique combination of personal strengths, platform- and industry-specific skills, and business know-how. Your own needs determine which offering has the most to contribute at a given time. FIGURE 2 CIO Advisory Services Model Strategy Domain Expertise Act as trusted advisor, sounding board Bring specialized knowledge to bear on or second opinion technology or business decisions Mentoring Resource Augmentation Help the CIO or his reports Enable IT to increase capacity in develop strategic skills needed areas on a project basis5 A GUIDE TO CIO ADVISORY SERVICES
  7. 7. Ideally, a virtual CIO will have working experience with multidisciplinary IT teams and many different organizations. The project at hand may dictate whether to engage a specialist in your vertical market or a technology expert with broad cross-industry implementation experience. A vertical specialist is a good choice if you are looking for business strategy as part of the advisory package. Emphasizing technical credentials is a good idea when you need a roadmap or a second opinion. Unlike management consultants who provide a plan then leave you to execute it, a virtual CIO can give you strategic direction and also can execute on the strategic, tactical, or operational level, whether alone or with special project staffing. And unlike an interim “From a technology CTO, a virtual CIO is not a candidate for a full-time position with your company. perspective, it’s the best They are engaged on a project basis but need to think strategically about where the time in history to be project fits in. From an outside perspective, a virtual CIO can often keep an organization focused on the end business objective to be achieved, and not just the particular ap- in business as more plication or process that needs to be built or fixed. capabilities are available at a lower flexible price CIO Advisory Services, such as the sample services described below, can help the CIO point than ever before. build alliances among stakeholders, translate between IT and the business units, However navigating motivate and mentor effectively, and keep the big picture in focus for everybody. those options and This holistic approach helps to integrate systems, save costs, lower risks, increase turning them into innovation and produce successful outcomes. business profits can lead to decision paralysis.” Sample CIO Advisory Services Ryan Risley, Managing Director of CIO Advisory Services, Brittenford Systems The range of possible CIO Advisory Services is limited only by the buyer’s needs and the provider’s capabilities. Here are the most popular categories. • IT Consultation — Expert, unbiased advice on a broad variety of issues. This is tailored to the organization’s need, size, culture, and cost preferences. It may consist of providing a second opinion; briefing on industry best practices (e.g., for disaster recovery); building a support structure (e.g., for mobile device support); or doing the problem analysis, plan, cost justification and presentation to the Board, among other possibilities. • Cloud Readiness Audits — Assessment of existing systems architecture, recommendations on which operational, financial, and accounting processes that could be moved to the cloud, and how to do so. • Rescue Assessments — Highly focused, impartial review of breakdowns in systems, applications, infrastructure and more. No finger-pointing, just a solid plan to fix the problem and get you back on track. • Support for IT Relocations — Experienced and thorough guidance in planning and executing the relocation of servers, networking and other computing assets to ensure efficiency, safety and continuity of operations. • Mentoring — Skills assessment and development; executive coaching; linking business and technology objectives to team performance; requirements definition for strategic staffing.6 A GUIDE TO CIO ADVISORY SERVICES
  8. 8. CIO Advisory Services Client Profile Company: KippsDeSanto & Company, www.kippsdesanto.com Business: Investment bank for growth-oriented defense and technology companies Client Perspective: Managing Director Kevin DeSanto says, “When we started our business, we faced a fundamental choice: should we take charge of the IT function ourselves or outsource it? We had limited expertise as technology managers—and even less time—so our startup IT infrastructure did not meet our needs. We found an excellent professional services firm that listened to our needs and offered to act as our virtual CIO. The Brittenford team has been a crucial partner in our growth by providing deep, broad, and responsive service, ranging from trouble-shooting to provisioning to advice on best practices for security policies and procedures.” Key Requirements: • Fast growth path, cost effective structure, high performance collaboration platform, proven reliable platform • Sample deliverables: fast and secure large file repository, centralized pipeline management, and BYOD policy guidance Key Challenges: Kevin DeSanto, Managing Director, KippsDeSanto & Company • Needed to protect their intellectual property, ensure high staff productivity, and provide anywhere access • Had outgrown its in-house Client/Deal Management system Key Outcomes: • Provided mobile device management and secure file access to enable analysts to work remotely as needed • Improved performance of document collaboration • Increased visibility into deal pipeline and key client interactions via MSCRM online7 A GUIDE TO CIO ADVISORY SERVICES
  9. 9. About Brittenford Systems Brittenford Systems is a technology services firm that implements and supports financial and CRM software systems including Microsoft Dynamics GP, Dynamics SL, Dynamics CRM, and the cloud-based Intacct financial management system. Brittenford Systems also offers CIO Advisory Services, Microsoft Dynamics training and staffing, cloud engineering services, and application development. For more information on Brittenford Systems, please visit www.brittenford.com, or call 703-860-6945. For a complimentary CIO Advisory consultation, contact Brittenford Systems above. References i. infotech.com http://www.infotech.com/research/being-a- strategic-enabler-ensures-the-cio-role-remains- relevant ii. forbes.com http://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocen- tral/2011/12/03/executive-profiles-disruptive- tech-leaders-in-cloud-computing-rick-nucci- dell-boomi/ iii. crmadvocate.com http://www.crmadvocate.com/idb/41080b. html?goback=%2Egde_4371519_mem- ber_127814611 iv. in.capgemini.com http://www.in.capgemini.com/insights_and_re- sources/news/capgemini-report-shows-rising- impact-of-big-data-on-decisionmaking/?gobac k=%2Egde_4371519_member_128700907 v. cio.com http://www.cio.com/article/711873/4_Rea- sons_Why_IT_Matters_More_Than_ Ever?page=1&taxonomyId=31748 A GUIDE TO CIO ADVISORY SERVICES

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