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As CIO, is the lack of rigour in building your IT Leadership Team placing you at risk?

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Wayne Pales's picture
I help CIOs build IT Leadership Teams capable of delivering the Digital Energy Transformation The Chapel Group

Hi, I’m Wayne, a senior technology leader and energy expert passionate about playing my part in creating a low cost and sustainable energy future.In 2019, I left the corporate world to be a stay...

  • Member since 2016
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  • Nov 25, 2020

The Digital Energy Transformation requires your IT Leaders to have a new suite of capabilities. It is these IT leaders who make the dozens of decisions every day that determine how your Digital Energy Transformation is implemented.  Ultimately it is these decisions that will determine if your organisation is well-positioned to take advantage of the rapidly changing energy landscape.

Post the approval of your IT strategy, you will typically look to develop a target IT Operating Model, or ITOM, that attempts to describe your new organisational structure, the functions this new structure need to perform, and how each department is to go about it.

Developing target IT operating models is big business. Everyone from advisories such as Gartner and Forrester, through to the big consultancies, down to niche players have a framework. The frameworks may differ slightly, some have broader coverage than others, but they are mostly the same, and in recent years have been tweaked to infuse the word digital at every possible opportunity.  

I am not questioning these frameworks. I am more concerned with why we rarely end up implementing an IT Operating Model (ITOM) in line with the version that you signed off as being necessary to deliver your part of the Digital Energy Transformation.

Too often, and for a range of reasons, many of the components that make up a target ITOM get shelved. You focus on the new structure and look to appoint, either internally or externally, your direct reports as quickly as you can to help with your burgeoning workload. Your IT Leaders set about implementing their part of the new ITOM as they interpret it. Such an approach sounds logical, but why does it fail so often?

I believe that a significant contributing factor to this failure is the lack of rigour in putting together the Senior IT Leadership Team in the first place.

If your advisors do not take the time to understand what capabilities each IT leader must possess, ensure job descriptions describe which capabilities are a must-have and test candidates, including the in situ IT leaders, to ensure they can do the job then they significantly increase the chance of you failing.  In your desire to move fast and support the business realise their Digital Energy Transformation ambitions, is this lack of rigour placing you at risk?

If you are a CIO and would like to take part in my book research, please email me at


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Wayne Pales's picture
Thank Wayne for the Post!
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