At Xuviate we recognise and focus on three types of IT leadership roles:
Most IT leader careers start out at the tactical level and are initially focused almost exclusively on delivering on the core IT expectations such as having a reliable, cost-effective IT platform, happy users and IT projects that are delivered successfully.
If you are currently in this role, you will probably have very little time to think about anything really important while you tackle one urgent challenge or task after another. It just never stops.
One way we support IT leaders who are in this mode is by publishing practical blog articles focused on getting the job done with a minimum of fuzz.
7 Steps to a Kick-Ass Service Desk is a recent example of just such an article.
At some stage (usually when the team or company grows), an operational leadership requirement is added and the focus now shifts to implementing appropriate structures and processes to make IT run smooth and deliver more business value.
If you are currently in this role you will probably be included in general business management meetings and spend most of your time figuring out how to make everything IT-related perform better.
One way we support IT leaders who are in this mode is by publishing insightful blog articles focused on implementing and sustaining a capable IT function.
The Speed of Agility: How IT Is Teaching Business a Lesson is an example of just such an article.
Increasingly we are also seeing IT leaders who have mastered the operational side of IT and want to better leverage the massive transformative potential of technology. They know that the real opportunity lies outside of IT...
If you are currently in this role you probably have started your organisation on a digital transformation journey. Unfortunately this turns out to be a lot more complicated than expected.
One way we support IT leaders who are in this mode is by compiling thought leadership articles to create awareness and help to kick-start and accelerate digital transformation.
Culture Trumps Tech In Digital Transformation is a recent example of just such an article.
Now think about your own particular situation and decide which one of the above roles best defines your current leadership focus.
If you struggle to do this you have encountered one of the many challenges IT leaders in mid-sized business face. Challenges that their equals in larger organisations, who usually focus on one role at a time, do not have. In fact, we often find operational IT leaders who are still fully responsible for virtually all tactical IT leadership requirements. Even worse, many IT leaders in the strategic role still have to get operationally involved and in some instances even have to wear all three hats at the same time.
Some other significant situational differences between IT leaders in mid-sized business and their corporate peers are:
Whereas corporate executives largely understand the disruptive potential of IT and the associated opportunities, most business leaders in mid-sized businesses are still blissfully unaware. The still believe that all strategic challenges of the future can be countered with hard-won lessons learned in the past.
It is surprising how much information these days is freely available on the Internet. Unfortunately, however, online knowledge pertaining to IT leadership questions is almost exclusively skewed towards the needs of large businesses and finding workable solutions for mid-sized businesses does not just require the removal of some bells and whistles.
Although every business function is increasingly leveraging technology, the general leadership mandate is that "we need to do more with less". This extreme cost focus forces IT leaders in mid-sized businesses into even more tactical work instead of allowing them to make strategic bets and secure the future of the business.
Despite all the negativity surrounding the consulting profession, large businesses still have the huge advantage of being able to contract management consultancies to help with their internal IT challenges and transformation projects. Mid-sized business mostly cannot afford such experts and, even if they could, mostly do not place a lot of trust in outsiders.
Given these extreme challenges it is actually surprising how many IT leaders keep soldiering on and delivering superb work against all odds for their organisation, day after day.
The really good news is that we understand your plight deeply and have been focusing on leadership development for IT Managers and CIOs for close to 10 years.
What follows is a brief introduction to three of our most valuable services as well as a link in each case to a page with a lot more detail should the topic resonate with you (at a minimum, check out the free IT Leader Growth Summit).
Between 20 and 24 May we hosted the first-ever, online summit designed specifically for IT leaders of mid-sized businesses. Attendance to the live event was completely free and we had 56 highly relevant sessions with IT leaders and subject matter experts from around the globe to choose from.
All sessions are now available for online, anytime viewing with an All-Access Pass.
Who is it for: Ideal for IT Managers and Heads of IT who want to sharpen their IT leadership skills by learning how others have approached particularly relevant topics.
Join up to 15 IT leaders for a 2 hour long, facilitated deep-dive on shared challenges every 2 weeks. Groups meet online every two weeks and membership is private. Our longest running group has been active for more than two years already.
Who is it for: Ideal for IT Managers and CIOs who want to grow their operational and/or strategic IT leadership capabilities.
Kick-start or accelerate digital transformation (DX) in your organisation through short, focused cycles of 3 months each. We start by facilitating a workshop and there-after support you behind the scenes as you lead one or more cross-functional teams towards a significant business result. Each engagement is customised to deliver maximum forward business momentum at the current level of organisational DX readiness.
Who is it for: Ideal for IT Managers and CIOs who want to grow their strategic IT leadership capability.