Yesterday I was speaking to someone who works at one of Australia’s largest banks. I was horrified to hear that her laptop takes 15 to 20 minutes to boot every morning when it is connected to the Bank network. That’s at least 15 minutes before a senior person can get started on her daily work. Multiply that by thousands of employees and that’s a lot of lost productivity. It would be easy to apply an average hourly rate to the calculation and come up with a very scary figure – for executives and for shareholders.
Apparently this is normal for that organisation. Employees complain about it but also accept it as a fact of life that that is how long it takes for a laptop to come online. There are many reasons – the strict security deployed by the bank, the age of the hardware, the convoluted process to log a support call, the list goes on.
But just because employees accept it does not mean that it is OK. It also begs the question – does the CIO of the organisation know? I would imagine that the employees at the coalface who wait more than 15 minutes to get online are very far removed from the VIP treatment the senior executives get from the IT department.
Any CIO who is really focussed on their business would be concerned, but the facts are probably far removed from the senior level of the organisation and hidden by layers of bureacracy. While it seems like an injustice it’s really just caused by a lot of people doing their work with the best of intentions without really relating it back to the big picture. For example:
- The procurement person that believes that holding back a hardware refresh for a year will make a contribution to the organisation’s profitability
- The security person who is so obsessed by applying the tightest possible security that they lose sight of the angst they are causing the people who have to work with their systems
- The employee who doesn’t escalate the issue because they are so certain that they won’t be heard.
The above example may be oversimplifying things, but the point I would like to make is that at least one person in the organisation should be able to make a direct link between the business and the technology that supports it.
That person is the CIO. I would suggest that every CIO needs to take the time to really understand how things are really going at the coalface – they may be surprised at what they find.
- CIOs Step into the Boardroom (thinkup.waldenu.edu)
- Federal CIO Kundra Reinforces IT Procurement Neutrality (informationweek.com)
- SanDisk’s Hands-On CIO (video.forbes.com)
- CIOs need to get IT engaged with the business (v3.co.uk)
- My top 5 predictions for CIOs in 2011 (radar.oreilly.com)