A view on 2016 IT budgets

Here is an article on the IT budgets that CIOs control, by  (@steveranger) on October 1, 2015 in ZDNET’s special feature on IT Budgets 2016.

My position?

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Florentin Albu, CIO at Rothamsted Research, said investment will vary by sector: “I believe that certain government-related sectors will have to adjust to budget reductions, and implicitly investment in IT in these areas will not be on the up. At the same time, I believe that the commercial sector shows an increased appetite for investing in IT solutions, and this will be reflected in more generous budgets in 2016.”

Another complication: deciding what is, and what isn’t, part of the IT budget is getting harder, he said.

“IT is used very loosely now, to cover everything from data and information management, to infrastructure, to enterprise systems etcetera, so the line between business budgets and IT budgets will become increasingly blurry,” he noted.

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Read the full article here:

http://www.zdnet.com/article/when-it-comes-to-it-budgets-bigger-isnt-always-better/

Article re-published in the French edition of ZDNET:

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Florentin Albu, DSI chez Rothamsted Research, déclare ainsi que l’investissement diffèrera selon le secteur. “Je pense que certains secteurs liés au secteur public devront ajuster leur budget à la baisse, et implicitement l’investissement IT dans ces domaines ne sera pas orienté à la hausse. Dans le même temps, je pense que le secteur privé affiche un appétit croissant en termes d’investissement dans des solutions IT, et cela se traduira pas des budgets 2016 plus généreux.”

Une autre complication : décider de ce qui appartient ou non à un budget IT devient de plus en plus difficile, ajoute-t-il.

“L’IT est utilisée de façon très lâche maintenant, pour couvrir tout, des données à la gestion de l’information, l’infrastructure, en passant par les systèmes d’entreprise, etc., de sorte que la frontière entre les budgets métiers et les budgets informatiques deviendra de plus en plus floue” juge Florentin Albu.

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Read the full article here:

http://www.zdnet.fr/actualites/budgets-it-la-taille-n-est-pas-l-essentiel-pour-les-dsi-39830026.htm

Management: back to basics

mgmt basicsLet me tell you about something I call the “ER syndrome”. A few years back, a friend of mine in the medical profession jokingly said that if you go to the Emergency Room with a headache, chances are that you will get a Computer Tomography Scan before someone thinks to give you a regular painkiller. With everyone being in the “emergency mind-set”, common conditions can be overlooked. Of course, doctors are more professional than that, and the point that I am trying to make is that in the complex world in which we operate as managers, sometimes we tend to forget about the simple things. How do we avoid the “ER syndrome”? By being well-anchored to good management practice.

Here are my favourite resources on management basics and not-so-basics, available in three different media types (a traditional book, web articles and audio podcasts) to suit any moment of spare time. These can equally help junior as well as seasoned managers, as they bring tried-and-tested good practice examples, and also fresh perspectives on concepts that one might have learned about but not practiced.

What is your go-to management reference?

Resources:

The Essential Drucker”, Peter Drucker, 2001 (book can be found at all major online book retailers)

Mind Tools

The Mind Tools is an initiative started by James Manktelow in 1996. The freely available Toolkit is an excellent resource where one can review a broad range of concepts, from strategy, to team management, to leadership. Each area is explained clearly, and in most cases short video presentations or tutorials are further supporting the points covered in text. A broad collection of management and analysis methods and tools is found here as well, explained and categorized. You can find pretty much everything from SWOT analysis, to the Hoshin planning system to the SCAMPER improvement technique. The Mind Tools were awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise (the UK’s top business award) in 2012.

Manager-Tools

This is a different type of resource and equally valuable: this is a collection of podcasts with managerial and career advice, from Michael Auzenne and Mark Horstman, from the management consultant company Manager-Tools. The podcasts can be downloaded, or you can listen to them on the site, and they cover a broad range of management issues (see their Universe Map), offering sound and down-to-earth advice. I would consider the Manager-Tools podcast “mandatory” listening for young managers, and a good reference point for more experienced ones. The separate stream on career advice (Career Tools) is simply just great, and had a positive impact in my personal development (so thank you, Mike & Mark).

 

Note: I am not affiliated in any way with the sites/companies mentioned above.