The Changing Role of IT Leadership: Part 4

Posted: January 14, 2017 in Executive Corner
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Originally published on the IDC Community blog

In the Part 3 of this blog, we focused on the essential area of effectively allocating different skillsets of the IT organization to further your innovation initiatives. Of course, another key focus is how the IT organization operates.

As more organizations work through digital transformation, they are finding that many existing development practices and processes do not necessarily work in this new phase of computing. This is leading many executives to embrace the idea of Agile development and all the trapping that go with that, including the transformation of their workspaces and the interactions of team members. However, the shift to Agile is not without issues: many organizations are finding that legacy systems, long-time employees, and tried and true processes are often at odds with the new ways of Agile.

IDC’s CIO Sentiment Survey results show that 48% of organizations are still focusing on Waterfall approaches when it comes to legacy application development, with Agile only being used for innovation projects.

In the previous blog, we introduced the DX Score and its significance on an IT organization’s digital innovation performance. These IT organizations that are hesitant to move forward with a full agile development approach correlate with a lower DX Score, indicating that their digital revenue and overall success with integrating digital transformation in the IT organization is lacking.

Essential Guidance for the CIO

IDC offers CIOs some guidance for the CIO and IT leaders looking to make their move from waterfall to the agile development:

  • Create an application Center of Excellence (COE) to review current development practices.
  • Determine what projects make sense for Agile development.
  • Review Waterfall-based legacy systems for possible Agile conversion.
  • Review your talent pool and look for leaders that can assist teams in agile development.
  • Develop a transitional plan for Waterfall projects to move to Agile
  • Look at moving to an open Agile-friendly workspace that fosters interactionNote: See the report for a specific timeline of when to follow the recommended actions

This is the final post in our four-part series on the changing role of the CIO and it’s important to remember that these differing pieces don’t occur at once. Each executive needs to look at their own organization and see what aspects can be quickly implemented and what will take more time. As we’ve said, digital transformation is a journey.

Learn more about selecting a development methodology, the growth of agile and its positive correlation with a higher DX score as well as more on the DX score and IT performance in the IDC report, Changing IT Leadership: Part 4 – The Search for Agile Without Sacrifice (Doc #US42032516) on

To learn more about insights from all four parts of the report series based on the IDC 2016 CIO Sentiment Survey, please join us for a complimentary web conference and Q&A on Thursday, January 19th at 11 am et.


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