Time for you to understand IT, chief execs are told

Five key challenges to deliver strategic advantage have been identified by a group of leading chief executives.

Five key challenges to deliver strategic advantage have been identified by a group of leading chief executives.

The challenges, outlined in a report by the Chartered Management Institute, focus on how leaders can better harness technology to drive business growth.

The report, entitled Business Leadership of Technological Change, was launched at an event in the BT Tower in London last month, and is an adjunct to the British Computer Society's initiative to drive professionalism in IT.

According to the report, the five issues for CEOs to tackle are:

● How to create transformational value rather than simply implementing one-off IT projects

● The need to build capability for ongoing change so that IT shapes new business models instead of being the business model

● How to create a climate of open communication

● The need to manage risk with confidence

● Recognising the need for personal IT capability and learning about new IT issues.

At the event, John Browett, operations director for Tesco Stores, said the CEO should assume responsibility for change in organisations.

"Without the unswerving support of the CEO and the executive committee there is absolutely no chance that you can get transformation done, and what I see in most businesses is that the CEO is not at work on change and transformation.

"They may talk about it, but they are not prepared to get their hands dirty. They are not prepared to intervene in order to get what they want. They are not prepared to put their best people on it. They do not really understand it and they do not like it," Browett said.

The report concluded, "The continuing use by industry groups of terms such as 'IT projects' as shorthand for what is major business transformation involving organisational change and people and process change, is continuing to sidetrack boards and their senior business executives, including CIOs, into thinking of major change as being technology-driven rather than technology-enabled."


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