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The following post was written by Thai Lee as part of the Columbus Business First’s CIO Tomorrow Conference. Ms. Lee is one of the featured speakers in the Voice America Innovative Leaders Driving Thriving Organizations interview aired on April 26, 2016.

As “disruption” challenges “cloud” for IT buzzword supremacy, line-of-business owners (and the end-users they manage) are hungry to deploy new “disruptive” technologies in the workplace. While CIOs are eager to support the innovation that follows disruption, most are well aware that longtime, traditional IT partners still play an irreplaceable role in keeping their network and infrastructure available and secure. Today’s CIO works in the middle of legacy IT and user-driven disruptive technology.

Working in the IT channel since 1989, SHI was born and lives in the “middle.” We currently help over 17,000 IT organizations understand all the information they need to quickly evaluate, acquire and deploy traditional, disruptive and hybrid IT solutions that meet their technical, security and business needs. Based on that experience, here are three things we have found effective IT organization do to support end-user demand of disruptive technologies:

– Manage IT Assets – all the time. IT Asset Management: it’s not just for audits anymore! Any business case for deploying disruptive technology must survive a direct comparison to both your install base and your existing volume licensing entitlements. Despite their enthusiasm to roll out a new SaaS application, line-of-business owners (Marketing, Accounting, Sales) are rarely aware of an existing contract or “shelfware” that can exist elsewhere in enterprise and possibly be re-deployed to their group. An effective IT asset management program can empower IT staffers to immediately respond with an alternative solution that may make better business sense or provide tangible cost-savings.

– Normalization of consumption billing. Utilizing today’s disruptive technology often means resolving unpredictable consumption billing, which can be confusing and time-consuming. In addition to the difficulties in budgeting for varying usage levels, difficult-to-read invoices associated with consumption billing might mean unexpected lost cycles for someone within a business unit to resolve. IT organizations that can help normalize and interpret consumption billing provide a valuable service to the business units they support.

– Communicate early and often with line-of-business owners. Much like a CIO, line-of business owners are pushed by increasingly educated end-users to deploy the latest and greatest in disruptive technologies. Scheduling regular meetings with line of business owners to understand their goals and strategies (while explaining your need to remain secure and compliant) can help eliminate a political fight down the road over “who owns what.”

Never before has such powerful technology been so readily available to every level of an organization. But by supporting the effective acquisition and consumption of disruptive technologies when it makes sense for your organization ensure control, compliance and security can remain where it belongs: with IT!

To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills.

AUTHOR INFORMATION
Thai Lee is described by Forbes as “the modest tycoon behind America’s biggest woman-owned business” and includes Thai on their top 20 self-made women list. Ms. Lee has been the majority shareholder, President and CEO of SHI International Corp since 1989. With projected 2016 revenue of over $7 Billion, SHI International is one of the largest privately owned technology companies in North America. Under her leadership, SHI transformed from a $1 million “software-only” regional reseller into a global provider of information technology products and services. SHI provides IT procurement, IT deployment, asset management and cloud computing solutions to tens of thousands of organizations around the world.


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