CIOs must take the strategic view that IT infrastructure isn't the hardware, software, cloud, or whatever is the technology de jour. The company's IT infrastructure is the applications and tools that run the business. Future proofing them is a far more difficult task. The very specifications and assumptions that are critical to deliver improved capability also lock your company's business processes into today's environment that new technology and marketplace changes will make obsolete or not cost effective next week. That's a paradigm we understand for hardware, but have yet to fully appreciate where it counts, in the delivery of business processes with sustainable corporate value.
A daunting task? Absolutely, but critical to the longer term success of your company. It's about taking that mission statement and corporate strategic plan as a blueprint for today, not left to the five-year IT strategic plan to worry about what it really means in two or three years. It's about continuing to educate yourself and your business users to think in the short term for the improvements and solutions to today's problems to ensure that your company has a future. Equally important is a commitment to educate yourself and the rest of the C-level team on investing in the flexibility needed to deal with tomorrow's market, regardless of what it may turn out to be.
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