Brian Bowman

Brian Bowman

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Conclusion: Nothing concentrates the mind of an organisational leader more than knowing that in all probability, in 12 months time the organisation will be smaller, or perhaps will not exist at all in its present form. In these circumstances, C-level executives will be measured like never before on their ability to contribute to their organisation’s survival. For the CIO, ongoing 360 degree appraisals whether applied formally or informally, will become commonplace. Senior executives and boards will want to know whether the CIO is made of ‘the right stuff’1 to manage through uncertainty. Staff will be seeking leadership with clear messages about what the future holds for the organisation and the individuals within it. As a consequence, CIOs driven by organisational and career survival will need to adopt new ways of leading and managing.


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Strong and clearly defined account management governance procedures are vital in helping to ensure a continuing good and professional relationship between customers and their outsourcing supplier. However merely defining these procedures in the successful tender and in the outsourcing contract is insufficient without strict adherence to them. An acceptable level of adherence can only be achieved through commitment and governance from both sides to ensure processes and procedures are followed rigorously

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Conclusion: Mentoring key IT staff when they may be feeling insecure during tough economic times is of the utmost importance. With the proper mentoring key staff will remain motivated and be positive about their contribution as the business slows.

It is important that organisations hold onto their best staff and the temptation to reduce costs by offloading well remunerated IT staff is a short term solution only and should be avoided. This will ensure that the IT department will be in a strong position to properly service the organisation when the business grows again.


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Organisations which are in the market for telecommunications services should not limit submissions to solely tier-one vendors. Inviting submissions from tier-two, and even tier-three vendors broadens the choice and can result in cost savings.

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During any economic downturn the IT departments, which as a standard process have been constantly reviewing their structure and value, will be better placed to ensure that any proposed cost cutting exercises do not inhibit their capabilities to deliver satisfactory support and service. Further they will be in a position to react quickly and efficiently when the downturn concludes and the economy begins to grow again. The IT department must be light enough on its feet to embrace and implement change when it is necessary.

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To successfully transition an acquisition or merger into the acquirer’s corporate IT systems, people and cultural issues need to be taken into account and the necessary steps taken to understand and minimise the effects such issues may have on a successful transition.

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To maximise the chances for a successful implementation of significant business application software projects involving third party vendors, the preparation and publication of a well structured and detailed Request for Proposal (RFP) is essential. The difference between the success or failure of these projects can often depend on the quality and completeness of this document.

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Where a major information technology project is discontinued; failure to provide this will result in a significant project financial loss, diminished credibility for the IT Department and, for mission critical projects, could mean a loss of revenue for the organisation.

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I was recently involved with a small business which had some very ambitious growth plans. The CEO of this organisation was an unashamed disciple of Jim Collins the author of the book, “Good to Great” and is enthusiastically following its philosophies as he grows his organisation. The book examines businesses which had been returning mediocre to good results over a period of time, and how they transformed themselves into great companies returning superior levels of performance.

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Corporate document management initiatives can often fail to deliver expected outcomes because too much emphasis is placed on the choice of technology at the expense of the more critical issues of people and process. As corporate electronic document management systems are used by all staff within an organisation they will not be successful unless all business units have been engaged during the implementation and the supporting processes are simple and practical. Adoption will be accelerated through identification of tangible, personal benefits for end users and their reinforcement during training and implementation.

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Successfully delivering agreed strategies from an IT Strategic Plan can only be achieved through planning and the application of strict governance processes. This governance must provide the necessary flexibility to deliver successful outcomes in a changing business and technology environment. Open and regular communication with the total organisation on the status of the IT Strategic Plan is essential to maintain credibility and ensure support and cooperation

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A thorough technology trends analysis, identifying upcoming initiatives in the development of technology and assessing their value and relevance, is an important phase when preparing the IT Goal State of an IT Strategic Plan.

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Engaging with senior management early in the IT Strategic Planning process, to understand their personal views on how IT can be used to assist the organisation achieve its objectives is beneficial. This process has the affect of elevating the importance of the IT Strategic Plan in their minds and helps to ensure their cooperation and support when the outputs from the plan are being implemented. Failure to do this will inevitably lead to difficulties when implementing the IT Strategic Plan into areas of the organisation where there has been little or no senior management input.

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As an organisation’s dependence on a fully functioning and secure IT Network delivering an IT environment enabling business to be conducted successfully grows, it is important that the integrity of that network is protected to the highest degree possible. While there are many software and hardware products available in the market to help to ensure this protection it is also important that, at the human level policies and procedures are put in place to protect the network from misuse by its users. As an important part of IT governance organisations must compile, publish, maintain and enforce IT Network Policies to help ensure the integrity of the IT Network.

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