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  • Eliminating
    Eliminating "Us And Them": Making IT and the Business One
    by Steven Romero

Goodbye to the CIO? Or, Goodbye to the IT Budget?

Last week I responded to an online CIO article titled,” J.C Penny Slashes CIO Role” The article comments on the appointment of Kristen Blum as Chief Technology Officer and the elimination of the CIO position that was held by Ed Robben, who recently left the company. After reading the article, I left the following comment:

“The provocative title of your post got my attention, but it is far from accurate. The new CTO is the new CIO - plain and simple. The elimination of the title amounts to little more than a shell-game. I am sure it is symbolic of the new JCP, but it is shamefully meaningless if not outright misleading. There is no doubt his game-changing simplified retail business model will reduce the need for the IT systems required to support the countless ramifications of the conventional business model based on ever-changing product pricing. But the future of JCP will be far from bright if the CEO believes he can turn JCP around without leveraging IT for strategic advantage. If IT does not play a role in driving business innovation, he is merely delaying JCP’s inevitable demise.

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The Consumerization of IT and Talent Management

This is the first guest post I have hosted on my blog. Kyle Lagunas read one of my articles on the “consumerization of IT” and he thought I would be interested in some comments from a roundtable he recently hosted on the topic. Kyle is an HR analyst, and the roundtable participants are HR and business unit leaders. Here are some of their thoughts on the consumerization of IT:

For human resources professionals, the effects of the consumerization of IT are hard to miss. Even entry-level employees have access to powerful tools, applications and networks in their personal lives. Many organizations find these same technologies infiltrating the workplace. From employee and manager self-service portals to the growing number of social media elements in performance and learning management, the technology employees expect to find in the workplace is changing.

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IT Business Alignment STILL Critical to Enterprise Success

Is your IT Organization aligned with the Business? IT-Business Alignment is the first and foremost f the five principles of IT Governance. The remaining principles: Value Delivery, Risk Management, Resource Management, and Performance Management are impossible to realize if IT is not aligned with the business. Despite this absolute prerequisite to the success of any IT organization, the term “IT-Business Alignment” is often ridiculed if not dismissed outright. I keep hearing it is so “passé.”

A number of pundits whom I respect suggest the phrase “IT-Business Alignment” should be banished from our lexicon. I read a post today suggesting that perhaps it is the “dumbest phrase ever spoken” (inspiring me to revisit this article on the subject). These pundits contend the term is meaningless, pointing out that talking about “aligning” IT with the business implies they are separate enterprises.

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The Consumerization of IT and Work-Life Integration

I wrote a blog post last year on the topic of “work-life balance” I noted how I don’t like the idea of work-life balance because the term “balance” infers there are two forces opposed to one another. I continue to believe this is a fair characterization as I still know countless people who struggle with the “battle” between their work life and their personal life. Their situation sets work up to be the enemy, even for those who love their jobs.

I proposed we stop seeking work-life balance and instead pursue work-life integration. Integration is “a combination of parts or objects that work together well.” Integration eliminates the perspective of balance so the elements of work life and personal life are no longer compared or opposed to one another. Work-life integration is the attempt to combine our work-life with our personal-life so they “work together well.”

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Employee Empowerment

I just read a Forbes online article this morning titled: “The Empowered Employee is Coming; Is the World Ready?” It is a very insightful guest post hosted by Forbes staff writer Eric Savitz and written by John Hagel, Suketu Gandi and Giovanni Rodriguez. Ideally, you should read their piece before continuing, but for those of you who don’t want to toggle between posts, the following is the basis of their discussion:

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