CIOs, keep an eye out for teams within teams

CIOs must balance strong existing relationships with a challenge to the status quo.

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"The enemy of IT is a team inside IT," the CIO of an engineering firm recently said to me whilst working together. "Big systems are cumbersome, and they lead to powerful teams. Will that team nuke itself? No. So there are hurdles within IT to improve IT," she added. This scenario is one I have seen both CIOs and technology vendors face.

Technology teams centre around a technology, methods and a business process, and in doing so, they become comfortable. It is a human trait; we all have our comfort zones and dislike being taken out of them. With technologies, the relationship becomes symbiotic as user and provider live together. 

Living together is important. Gone are the days (or they should be) of technology user and provider being at loggerheads. The same CIO in engineering and her team helped an ERP vendor integrate single sign-on into its application. Vendors encourage this symbiosis; they put significant effort into qualifications and training, networking events and communities of practice - and so they should. There is, of course, a benefit to the bottom line for the technology providers, but they are businesses and profit enables future developments to take place.

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