Can you afford not to have an ICT Director?

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Is there a case for Virtual ICT Directors?

By john L. Evans
First Posted July 21, 2017

With Computers and Systems and Broadband, the Internet, Cloud, Digital, Mobile, and so on, and so on, all becoming ubiquitous, inexorable and inextricable components of doing business today, and with Sales and Marketing and HR taking control of some of the company’s most important and valuable assets, activities and budgets, companies of every size, shape and form could benefit from the help and expertise of an ICT [Information and Communications Technology] Director; if only they could afford one.

An ICT Director can help identify needs and the solutions to meet them, and manage the changes required to implement those solutions:

  • move data, connect to suppliers, customers, professional service providers, Government; Local, Regional, National and even International;
  • acquire the necessary tools, avoid bad advice and over eager sales reps, and most of all, avoid getting locked into lengthy onerous contracts and being ripped off for years to come;
  • break out of unwanted, unnecessary, inappropriate, expensive, inefficient, unresponsive, inadequate existing arrangements;
  • take control of data, costs, functionality, outcomes and decisions:
  • use professional programme management aids, knowledge and expertise to manage change, protect from risk, and quickly resolve issues;
  • ensure the right techniques &/or methods are employed:
  • stay abreast of advances in technology and competitor activity.

You need someone who understands how your business works; can analyse and define requirements, identify solutions; knows the “ins and outs” of the seemingly black arts of digital computing and can help you buy and manage the things you need to flourish, be effective, efficient, legal, successful and profitable.

Whether it’s a Small, Medium or Large organisation, if you need a leader in ICT but cannot justify the expense, nor do you have the workload for a full time Director, consider a “Virtual Director of ICT” (VICT)?

A good VICT should bring skills, knowledge and expertise of a CTO, Chief Technical Officer and / or CIO, Chief Information Officer.

A good VICT should be able undertake and manage the work necessary to provide you with the solutions you need and the skills needed to operate them without the cost and overhead of a full time employee.

Your VICT could sit between you and your ICT suppliers of equipment and services, protecting you from double-speak and jargon, and provide you with a plain language interpretation.

Affordability comes from balancing the business case for retaining a VICT, with payment for results, remuneration for time, materials and disbursements, expenses.  Payment might take the form of equity, regular fees over time; the key word is flexibility; you get what you need, and pay for what you use, at a fraction of the cost of a full time director, with accountability, continuity and commitment; and because your VICT is a specialist in their field, understands yours, an is driven and rewarded for results, you get fantastic value for money, moreover, because your VICT is independent, you can have a high degree of confidence in their integrity, advice and guidance,

John L.  Evans FCMI, FlC, FBCS CITP, MCIPS

© John L.  Evans July 2017

About:

John Evans is an independent advisor in the selection, acquisition, implementation, commissioning, development and operation of Digital, Computing and Commination Systems, a Director of EXECS LTD.  and has worked in many countries in many roles.

He is a:

  • Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute FCMI.
  • Fellow of the Institute of Consulting FIC.
  • Chattered IT Professional Fellow of the British Computer Society FBCS CITP.
  • Member of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply MCIPS.

He has worked for and with, advised and changed organisations in:

  • Utilities Infrastructure (Transport, Telco, Power, Energy, Water, Gas, Storage, Distribution and Transportation, Metering, Generation, Wholesale, Retail, Customer Services, etc.)
  • Retail (Bricks and Clicks)
  • FMCG
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Financial Services (Investment Banking, Fl/FX, Life, General, Wealth, etc.)
  • Automotive (Manufacturing, Finance, Sales, After Market, etc.)
  • ICT/Digital/R&D
  • Telecoms and Networking

His expertise includes:

  • GeneralManagement / Direction
  • Troubleshooting / Turnaround
  • Portfolios, Projects and Programmes (£100M+)
  • People and Change, Operating Models
  • Purchasing, Procurement (£500M+)
  • Supply Chain 
  • Bids and Tenders (RFQ, ITT, etc.)
  • Commercials, contracts, negotiation, dispute resolution
  • In / outsourcing 
  • M&A, integration, divestment, unification, consolidation, rationalisation, restructure 
  • Due Diligence
  • Business Relationship and Stakeholder Management 
  • Business Development
  • Raising Capital
  • Leadership
  • ICT / Telecoms

He would be happy to consider Retained, Virtual, Interim, Contract, or Permanent, Full or Part-time roles in the UK, Europe, or perhaps even farther afield.

He lives near Warwick, in the UK, and is an UK/EU Citizen, and has no problems with travelling. 

You can contact him:

  • +44 203 051 3370
  • +44 7957 190 186

 

 

 

© John L.  Evans 2017

 

Due Diligence – the Key to successful Change?

Aside

Due Diligence – the Key to successful Change?

Someone asked me, “If you’re given the role of Programme Director,  what are the first things you do?”

Frequently, projects and programmes are over specified (too ambitious), over promised, under funded and late starting, with poor plans and negligible provision for contingency, realistic risk avoidance and / or issue management plans – people plan for success invariably failing to anticipate failure – if you don;t assume there are going to be problems, why would you include contingency time, resource and budget to manage them?

Reports of progress are over stated and issues and risks concealed or undhappyPMerstated.

The delivery team are sceptical and soon become concerned that failure will be blamed on them, but, these are the people most likely to know what’s going well and what isn’t, and what is required to address / resolve the challenges.  Happy people deliver good quality and productivity, frightened people don’t turn up!

In complex portfolios or programmes, the slippage of one key activity in one project, activity or task could stop or delay the entire enterprise being a significant dependency across the plans sitting at the intersection of multiple critical paths – the little things matter.

Care needs to be taken in reviewing motives – if a project features multiple suppliers or service providers, none of them wants to be the cause of or the victim of delay, but they will all be looking for opportunities to extend the scope of their obligations and increase their revenue – extensions.  However, extensions in one area often result in scope creep in others and costs rise.

It is essential to start every assignment / new role with a comprehensive Due Diligence exercise which can take anything from a few days to weeks, depending on the scale, circumstances and the state of the portfolio, programme and / or project.

Delivering big changes on time, budget and to expected scope of requirements, is not easy, and although businesses and service providers (marketing companies in particular) may trumpet success, a comparison of the final outcome and the original scope can be very revealing.

AGILE is very popular with both internal and external suppliers; it provides the capacity for lower start up costs; and the attendant need for senior management approvals, early deliveries and continuous improvement, additions to functionality, etc.. However, it also enables projects to run and run, never ending, and work to be charged to the project repeatedly, when there are repeated failures to deliver, and costs to run rampant below the senior management radar.

Should you require any further information, please get in touch.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Cheers John

John L. Evans FCMI, FIC, FBCS CITP, MCIPS.
+44 7957 190 186
+44 203 051 3370

© John L. Evans 2017

 

UK; 51st State of the Union?

There is much being said about Donald Trump separating his Presidential, business & private affairs but little comment on, what appears to be, his new business; expanding US interests and establishing a dynasty.

He could run two terms, under current legislation, legislation which could, of course, be changed.

He has sons and heirs.

He has both Houses of the Legislature & the Judiciary behind him.

He requires few backers and claimed for a long time to be self-funding, a claim he conveniently swept aside after three months of making it a key feature of his campaign.

Seemingly he is prepared to operate with or without democratic approval using Executive Orders.

These aspirations have not been seen in a peaceful ‘coup’ for years – perhaps ever.

If Trump’s new business was expansion into quasi monarchy, would that be a good or a bad thing; today the USA, tomorrow……..

By blurring the lines between his businesses, including the new family firm #POTUS is he laying a course in history which could run inexorably nto the future; the House of Trump?

I didn’t see Theresa May as a pussy cat but could not believe my eyes when I saw her holding daddy’s hand!!

She might not have gotten off the plane with a piece of paper, but where was her dignity?’.

She says she doesn’t agree with his imigration  ban but defends his right to do it.

Of course Brexit is going to be, as Trump said, whilst holding her hand, a “wonderful thing”, and the UK’s divorce from the EU, a “blessing to the world”. He also said, “I think it will go down as a fantastic thing for the United Kingdom”.  Little wonder he gets on so well with Pinocchio.

As Aircraft Carrier One, the UK, drifts further west, into the Atlantic, and away from the care and protection of Europe, and Trump appoints Pinocchio Farage as his Ambassador and Comercial Governor General, of the UK, to oversee the operation of the USA/UK trade deal, and the UK’s transition from 28th Member of the EU, to 51st State of the Union.. …
You couldn’t make it up!