Hangover Day! Time to Reassess?

It’s St. Patrick’s Hangover Day and maybe it’s finally time to figure out what we’re going to get done this year. Time to write down some goals.

Last week I read a great article “Inside Bank of America’s IT transformation” in Network World. The bulk of the article is about how CTO David Reilly is building new IT infrastructure and replacing legacy infrastructure. But what struck me was the simple, powerful goals he’s established for all his team.

“Workers aren’t judged based on the number of boxes they manage, or how virtualized an environment is. “’How am I delivering against the goals of the firm, how am I managing risk, and how am I contributing to overall profitability?”

I like those as IT goals. A lot. There’s real business context for the stuff we do everyday, much of which, frankly, can seem like making license plates. (Read Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon for that reference.) But I wondered what kind of goals other IT teams have.

Yesterday I presented to 50 IT senior managers in Chicago and took the opportunity to ask them about their IT goals. Here’s a summary showing the percent of organizations that had certain types of goals.

IT Management Goals

Would you have guessed that the top two types of goals were efficiency and modernization?

Here’s a couple of efficiency examples - “reduce complexity”, “remove processes without value”, “deliver quicker”. It’s not about cost, it’s about eliminating self-imposed obstacles.

What about a few modernization examples? “Modernize and simplify our infrastructure.” “Reduce total applications in use.” “Accomplish IaaS back to the organization.” We’re looking to new technologies across the board to produce better results.

I feel sorry for the organizations that had firefighting goals like “reduce severe outage times and occurrences.” That’s a tough environment to work in!

I was surprised how few organizations mentioned cloud given all the talk. About half the room was using the public cloud and I would guess it’s not new, it’s just part of the infrastructure package and nothing to think about.

All the organization-related goals I lumped into the Customer category, and here’s where I see the biggest opportunity for change. Making your organization’s success a priority is a great way to help your team make the right decisions every day. Look at Reilly’s 3 goals again - two of them are about winning as a business.

Related: Pick Great Partners to Build the Intelligent Data Center

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