The Art of IT Leadership is a business novel that educates senior IT leaders how to get an edge in running their IT departments through the strategic use of Information Technology and management processes. It gives readers the knowledge and tools to guide their company as it transitions from a mid-level to a high-level competitor in the marketplace. It takes the wondering out of the picture and shows IT leaders what key skills they need to develop and improve to become more effective leaders. Through its narrative, it simultaneously tells the tale of a Chief Information Officer as he makes a set of progressive transitions in his career.
Most IT leaders start their career in a technical role in IT. As their career progresses, they improve their technical skills (technical diagnosis, design, implementation, etc.) substantially. However, to be an effective IT leader, they also need strong customer facing skills including communication, empathy, and the ability to build trust with customers. To learn the needed skills requires patience, diligence, and practice. We wrote this book to help these leaders. Through the story of his career and life, we show how the central character – Gordon, encounters opportunities to learn these skills and leverage them to become a truly effective leader.
Developing IT leaders wonder if they need to learn new skills and transform. Some of the question they are asking include:
· How can IT leader develop strong relationships with other executives and work closely with them on business and IT initiatives? How to speak the language of business?
· How to build and sustain an IT organization that is capable, effective, and efficient?
· How to understand or infer business strategy and how to build a robust, aligned IT strategic plan?
· How to use new technologies to increase automation in the business as well as create new product and services for end customers?
· How to manage IT projects successfully for optimal outcomes?
We answer all these questions and more in this book.
We coined the term - 'IT Value Pyramid' to succinctly capture the three key roles of the Information Technology department and function in any organization. Essentially, IT is an integrating function that serves to glue various information systems and diverse business processes together to form the value chain for customers. It may help to think in terms of the three key and distinct roles of IT and how any IT department can work to perform them well.
- IT-as-Dial Tone provider (Service Provider),
- IT-as-a-Lever (Partner) and
- IT-as-a-Driver (Leader).
We wrote this book as a business novel to explain the concepts behind the 'IT Value Pyramid' through an easy-to-follow interesting story about a true-to-life character.
For the reader who does not have the time to read the novel, they can skip to the Tools and Tips section at the end of the book for a quick education on how to manage IT for maximum business value.