Recap: Small Business Member Meeting - Avoiding the 'IT Hairball' - Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Posted Date: 
April 24, 2014

April 23, 2014 Recap:

Guest Speaker: Rick Arthur, Managing Director of Greater Washington Region & Chief Information Officer, Hartman Executive Advisors

Clark Kendall, Co-Chair of the Small Business Committee, welcomed MCCC members and introduced the guest speaker, Rick Arthur of Hartman Executive Advisors who spoke on “Avoiding the ‘IT Hairball’: How to manage your IT Strategy as you grow.”

Arthur started his presentation with the anatomy of a hairball. Many executives will say, “I am not technical so I don’t understand.” It is important to understand the root cause of the confusion. Especially as a company grows, it is helpful to see IT as if it were a manufacturer that produces products and services to help the business go better, faster, cheaper.

There are three critical IT Business Processes as you grow: Strategic Planning (stimulating idea generation and distilling those in a priority list), Project Delivery (funding projects to implementation) and Operations (running the systems). The first two take resources and therefore can get passed over. You need to make space to work on the things you have identified as necessary.

The IT playing field includes the solutions and services and the process and technical capabilities. These all feed into supporting your business strategy.

Arthur concluded his presentation by identifying 10 Strategies to Avoid the IT Hairball including striking a balance between leadership and management before technical execution. 

Questions from attendees included how to manage a rapidly changing technology environment (answer: shrink the change into manageable pieces and think about ways that do not limit options) and how best to incorporate IT staff into the work of the business (answer: build connective tissue between the technical disciplines and why the business exists. This will be different for each business but it helps create a meeting of the minds.)

When asked who his ideal client would be, Arthur explained a company on the brink or in the midst of change and growth and referenced the two quotes with which he started his presentation.

See the full power point presentation here.

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