The growing volume of positive economic data now shows us to be moving out of the downturn which prompted me to reflect on its lasting effects on the business landscape of the recession.
In the technology world, the traditional image of the pre-downturn CIO was a gruff, no-nonsense character with a hint of ego. Individuals that radiated confidence as masters of their empire, secure in the knowledge that technology remained shrouded in mystery to others around the board table. These characters were a double-edged sword, responsible for some impressive delivery but the ‘Abominable No-Man’ could also occasionally surface.
The recession has resulted in a change of emphasis for many leaders. Others – those unable to change, have moved on. In industry today a shift towards a more collaborative, open approach is apparent, due to an increase in understanding of technology across the board table.
Technology leaders must now act as enablers, not gatekeepers, to ever more tech-savvy organisations. There can surely be little co-incidence that the Agile movement is making such sweeping gains right now. Its rapid delivery and open communication style are the antithesis of the traditional, IT-led waterfall engineering methods.
That said, I’m not sure the sea-change has fully bedded in with the technology providers yet. There could still be a home for these big beasts of technology, in the wilds of consultancy!
Alex Richardson a Consultant in the IT Leadership Practice at Berwick Partners. He recruits technology leaders.