Designing for IT Service Delivery Not Hierarchical Efficiency

Dateline: May 22, 2015

Welcome to our Friday WRAP – one thought-provoking idea to think about over the weekend.

Shifting chairs around on a sinking ship does nothing to stop the root cause of the ship’s problem: sinking.  Likewise, moving boxes around on an org chart does nothing to stop the root cause of bad IT service delivery.  Recently I ran across a blog that nicely laid out this argument and what to do about it.

Jerry Bishop, author of the Higher Ed CIO blog,  IT Organization Structure and Operating Models, suggests that instead of redesigning the org structure of the IT organization, CIOs focus on service delivery, accountability, and effectiveness.  He writes,

Gartner and others have suggested CIO’s should not think in terms of an IT organization model (re: IT organization chart). Instead, CIO’s should think in terms of an IT operating model. The reason is simple.

An IT operating model  defines IT service delivery ownership and responsibility. In this way the IT operating model is an accountability framework, not a service delivery model. Choosing the right IT operating model (re: IT organizational structure) involves trade-offs between monopolistic economies of scale from centralized IT organizational models and the entrepreneurial flexibility of decentralized IT organizational models….

In an era of virtual teams, and shared service delivery models, CIO’s need to focus much more on the service capabilities than on the hierarchical IT organizational structure.

Is your IT organization designed around service delivery accountability or hierarchical efficiency?

That’s a WRAP!  Have a nice weekend!

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