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  • Conclusion: IT auditors typically consult with, and report their findings to, the board’s Audit and Risk Committee. Their POW (program of work) or activities upon which they will focus may or may not be telegraphed in advance to stakeholders, including IT management.

    To avoid getting a qualified audit report for IT, e. g. when internal (systems) controls are weak or

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  • Conclusion: Relationships at work between managers and employees are important and can influence the success and effectiveness of individual teams or whole organisations. Both managers and employees need to understand the bias that can occur between a view a manager may take about an employee they have invested in and ‘hired’ or selected, versus an employee that is thrust

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  • Conclusion: Increasing competition where thin profit margins are the norm forces management to analyse business data more intently to identify ways to increase revenue and/or reduce operating costs. Similarly, in the public sector the aim is often to connect common data from multiple sources and determine if government programs are achieving their objectives.

    To

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  • Conclusion: Increasing emphasis in the media and in industry literature on cyber security and the risks of data breaches with service disruptions is likely to get extra attention in future from the board and their audit and risk committee (or ICT governance group).

    Not only must the committee be concerned with risk prevention, astute members will also want to

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  • Conclusion: When faced with determining the long-term future of an ERP solution that has met the organisation’s needs, business and IT management must investigate and weigh up their strategic options.

    To make an informed determination, business management must take ownership of the buying process in their role as demand managers while IT management and staff support

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  • Conclusion: In an environment where the quality of front line services is critical for customer loyalty, the call centre’s (or contact centre or help desk) performance is pivotal. A salient way to measure the call centre’s performance is to calculate its First Call issue Resolution rate (FCR), i. e. the rate at which received calls are resolved the first time while the

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  • Conclusion: Cognitive bias has the potential to reduce decision-making effectiveness. Although bias can often streamline the process of coming to a decision, the quality of such decisions may suffer. In emerging technology areas such as process and decision automation, as well as in mainstream activities such as procurement and recruiting, unconscious biases can have a

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  • Conclusion: The 2018 CIO survey1 revealed that the CIO’s influence is stalling, with fewer CIOs on executive boards. However, improving business processing is still the #1 operational priority. To address this priority, CIOs and IT managers should use everyday tools such as calendars to better collaborate with their staff by

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  • Conclusion: There are many strategies to consider as well as challenges to be aware of when migrating from a traditional waterfall development methodology to an agile methodology. Plan and prepare carefully and be patient during this transition and anticipated benefits will be realised.

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  • Conclusion: The CIO’s role has changed considerably over the past couple of decades, from “keeping the lights on” and working on cost-saving initiatives (automation) to expanding into embracing new technologies and enablers to transform the organisation. The importance of this has created additional roles like the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) to lead this critical

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  • Conclusion: Just as one size car does not suit everyone, so one IT management reporting structure will not meet the needs of all firms or agencies. While there is no blueprint for developing an IT management structure, there are guiding principles and workplace change management practices to help get the restructure right the first time.

    Due to fluctuating IT

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  • Conclusion: The differences in roles and responsibilities between an IT professional and line manager are many and need to be understood quickly by the new managers and their peers. Not only will the understanding help both parties make the appointment work but it will also reinforce the selection panel’s appointment decision.

    A new line manager must remember that the

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  • Conclusion: The role of being a supportive follower is overlooked as compared against the literature of being a leader. Everyone is a follower, yet by a factor of over 1,000 to 11, information is overwhelmingly written about how to be a better leader rather than about being a follower. As a leader, there are many benefits in

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  • Conclusion: Being able to deal with workplace conflict quickly and effectively reaps many rewards. There are different strategies that can be used to deal with the differing types of conflict in the workplace. Being mindful that personality classifications are fluid states of being, i. e. there is no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert...

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  • Conclusion: Strategic thinking, planning and problem solving often involve bringing together a team of knowledgeable contributors who need to analyse, debate, discuss and decide on key issues around the topic they are trying to address. Mind mapping can be a powerful technique for helping to stimulate the ideas, plan actions, and even communicate the output of the

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  • Conclusion: Mind mapping is a tool that facilitates “whole-brain” thinking. It is a technique that can be applied to all forms of the thought process, particularly to memory, creativity and learning. Within an organisation, the use of mind mapping as a visual and graphic thinking tool can help improve business processes and practices, solve problems, improve decision making,

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  • Conclusion:Growth in ICT remains strong in the foreseeable future in a very competitive market. Successful CIOs and ICT leaders responsible for staffing and sourcing need to adopt multiple strategies to successfully recruit, retain and plan for the resource challenges of tomorrow.

  • Conclusion:One of the objectives of an IT workforce plan is to maximise the use of the skilled IT professionals and project managers and minimise their idle time. Managing the IT workforce plan is a complex task in most organisations as skill levels required may vary by project and by operational support roles.

    To be successful, the manager of the plan must maintain

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  • Conclusion:IT professionals who operate in a structured and predictable environment could find the role change to that of an IT manager more challenging than they had anticipated, as it typically requires a mind-set change from completing one or two tasks to managing people. To avoid disappointment, senior management must help new IT managers make the transition and cope

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  • Conclusion:Mind mapping is used broadly throughout the world as a technique for improving creativity, problem solving, organising, planning, learning and collaborating. It can be used effectively to help an individual with their personal productivity, and importantly it can help teams and whole organisations.

    If organisations are going to embrace mind mapping and

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  • Conclusion:Employ a bottom-up technology-based approach and a top-down business approach when developing the business and IT transformation program. Additionally, the program must take a pragmatic approach to reflect workplace changes that are feasible to meet the expectations of clients, staff, suppliers and the community.

    Unless the program is continually revised

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  • Conclusion:Unless management develops work-place change management strategies and staff are trained to implement the transformation program, employees are likely to become disengaged and could fail to adapt to the changes envisaged. To minimise the risk of failure, the strategy to implement the program must be well planned and stakeholders consulted.

  • Conclusion:Executives trying to put ambitious and commendable goals in place may not appreciate the clarification that they may see as downgrading their original goal. When IT is asked to provide systems to support ambitious goals, the executive team needs to make sure the costs are understood and any ramifications that may result in significant changes or investment in IT

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  • Conclusion: It is not enough to just work hard and deliver results, although these are essential qualities to get noticed. To obtain that elusive CIO job and then keep it requires more ongoing effort and vigilance negotiating, monitoring and engaging at executive levels.

  • Conclusion: Organisations that by law must issue open tenders for systems solutions know they will be inundated with multiple responses and spend scarce work days assessing them. Staff involved in the process also know that many solutions proposed are not practical and, even if they are, often doubt the vendor has the capacity and capability locally to implement

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  • Conclusion: The PMO role has many manifestations. It is also rarely static. When the organisation is in transformation mode the PMO must ensure project managers work as a team and deliver results. It is analogous to the role of an orchestra conductor who must get the musicians to rehearse so they know their roles and work together to make their opening concert a

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  • Conclusion: The enterprise architect (EA) role is one of the most intellectually challenging in an organisation. This is because it involves developing a systems roadmap to migrate from the current to a desired future state that is compatible with the business strategy.

    Assign the wrong person to the EA role and the future systems will probably be unattainable and

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  • Conclusion: Virtual Teams have become common in most organisations, and technology and globalisation have been the major enablers. Leaders and team participants have found themselves as participants by default and without choice.

    For many, little training or education has been provided to help individuals recognise that their future work environment is going to

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  • Conclusion: Successful ICT life cycle service delivery from strategy development to system decommissioning relies on the person assigned the role picking up the work in progress and successfully completing the task before handing it to the next agreed role. It is analogous to the relay runner at an athletics carnival taking the baton from the previous runner and, on

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  • Conclusion: Opposition to workplace change stemming from the organisation’s digital strategy agenda1 is inevitable. Astute IT managers expect it and identify initiatives to minimise opposition.

    Digital strategy (or transformation) initiatives typically generate both overt and covert workplace resistance. Its sources may vary from

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  • Conclusion: The options for processing ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) range from on premises to managed services to public Cloud to SaaS (Software as a Service). The attributes of all the solutions, including the risks, costs and benefits, can appear overwhelming and may persuade risk averse senior management to make an expedient decision and keep the status

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  • Conclusion: Technical debt is intangible and its extent hard to measure. Organisations that compromise quality for expediency to meet schedules or defer software release upgrades accumulate technical debt unwittingly.

    Managers who let the debt increase and fail to reduce it could be digging an ever deeper and dry well that could cost them their jobs, leaving their

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  • Conclusion: IT management teams that spend little time planning to grow and retain talented people will find it hard and expensive to keep pace with technology advances and business model changes. Conversely, IT management that makes every effort to retain staff are likely to be employers that attract the best people. They will do this by helping them enhance their skills and

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  • Conclusion: To be effective a cyber security program that controls access to hardware, software and data needs to be comprehensive and include all stakeholders. The challenge for IT and line management is to shape the message to the audience in terms they understand so they take their responsibilities seriously.

  • Conclusion: Deciding to stop investing in a business system is a decision no manager likes to make as it could have an adverse impact on staff, suppliers, clients, stakeholders and the Board. Before making the decision, management must assess all options and conclude they have no alternative but to act now and stop wasting scarce resources.

  • Conclusion: Just as every marketable motor vehicle needs skilful designers and a proficient driver to reach its destination, an organisation needs visionary leaders and skilled staff to digitally transform its business model.

    Technology, whilst important, represents just one wheel of the motor vehicle. Overstating technology’s value is simplistic. Vendors who promote

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  • Conclusion: In a rapidly changing business environment driven by demand for enhanced client services and immediate access to business data, CIOs who can deliver what is needed will thrive. Conversely CIOs unable to meet the CEO’s and Board’s transformation objectives and leverage service providers could quickly find themselves redundant.

  • Conclusion: Organisations source and procure research and advisory services for a range of reasons. The benefits of access to external research and advisory can vary widely from organisation to organisation. Today’s business and technology environment is changing in more radical and rapid ways. Organisations that fully access and embed the information and

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  • Conclusion: The high-risk and high-reward Agile approach for systems development enabled many organisations to respond quickly to changing management strategies and yielded significant productivity benefits, according to a 2015 survey...

  • When the leadership of IT and business management work well as a team there are few limits to what they can achieve in delivering services to clients. However for the teamwork to become a reality line management and IT professionals must put aside special interests and focus on implementing initiatives that deliver outcomes that meet the objectives of the organisation.

    Agility is

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  • Conclusion: To grow their business and deliver sought after online services, organisations must provide error free systems supported by robust IT infrastructure. When unable to deliver one or both of these consumers will seek other suppliers that provide better online services.

    To meet consumer expectations online systems must be comprehensively tested

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  • Conclusion: There are two compelling information security reasons for creating a sense of purpose and ownership within an organisation. The first is that a sense of purpose and ownership will empower staff so that they move from responding to basic security hygiene matters, towards pre-empting issues. The second reason is so that organisations look out beyond

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  • Conclusion: Governance committees face a number of challenges that can undermine their effectiveness. These challenges include groupthink, a focus on individual responsibilities rather than organisation-wide benefits and trust issues. Experienced independent external advisors can play an important role in overcoming these challenges.

  • Conclusion: In order to develop an IT transformation program it is important to understand today’s operational and workplace context and use the insights gained to shape the way change can be achieved with a minimum of risk.

  • Conclusion: softening business conditions in Australia demand that IT operations executives find current cost (cash) savings, optimise the cost of existing operations and/or make valuable new contributions to the enterprise by leveraging networking technologies and practices throughout IT.

    IBRS has identified ten practical ways to cut enterprise

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  • Conclusion: To meet the demand for more online services, IT and business management must identify and filter the opportunities and vigorously pursue those with high client visibility, ensure adherence to legislation and reduce the cost of doing business.

  • Conclusion: IT managers who discourage staff from using consumer oriented technologies could be doing themselves a disservice. Whilst there are risks of data leakage or cost blowouts from over-usage of external computing resources, the unexpected benefits such as identifying new patterns of buying behaviour or using data analysis to identify welfare fraud, far

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  • Conclusion:There are a number of traits and behaviours to look for in an effective security leader, which are different from a traditional IT leader. The measure of an effective CISO is not whether their organisation has had a breach, or not. The measures of an effective CISO are the types of incidents their organisation has, and how their organisation responds

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  • Conclusion:While the concept of bundling and outsourcing of IT services is simple, its pricing regime based on dedicated devices available and not client applications processed, frustrates efforts to make IT costs transparent to business managers.

  • Conclusion: With increasing pressure to digitise extra services to clients, now is the time to review the effectiveness of the partnership between IT and business units. Unless it is strong the capacity to deliver the extra services will be at risk.

  • Conclusion: Unless the IT and HR management work together to implement information systems to enable them to hire, develop and record the skills of IT professionals, the organisation will probably not have the right people to meet the looming challenges of the digital age.

  • Conclusion: Remediating major systems is not a job for the faint-hearted or over-confident IT managers. Poor governance decisions and excessive optimism can easily lead to project failures (and ruin careers). Conversely smart decisions combined with sound project leadership can increase the probability of success and enhance careers.

  • Conclusion:When business critical systems have ‘passed their use-by-date’ or maintenance costs are excessive there is a temptation to fast-track the approval of the replacement systems and underestimate the cost and complexity of doing so. Avoid the temptation by thoroughly defining the scope of the project and include contingencies in the cost

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  • I have observed that many organisations operate with limited knowledge of the costs, structures and competitive initiatives planned by their competitors or of comparable agencies in other jurisdictions.

    Rarely does management know which system solutions have been acquired, deals concluded with suppliers such as software licence pricing, or whether their

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  • Conclusion: Whilst senior management recognise continued investment in IT is critical for business success there is increasing evidence of dissatisfaction with IT management’s performance. It is critical IT managers identify reasons for the dissatisfaction and take remedial action. If not, credible survey data indicates they will be replaced.

  • Conclusion:CIOs have a pivotal role in ensuring business and IT transformation and major change initiatives succeed. As they are both disruptive to business and IT operations and typically involve retraining staff while implementing new information systems, CIOs must be innovative and exercise a strategic leadership role.

    ...

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