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BT Financial Group CIO eyes new IT capability framework

IT-CMF born out of a lack of a single coherent framework

CIO of BT Financial Group, Tony Forward, is one of a handful of local technology leaders to investigate the new IT Capability Maturity Framework (IT-CMF) launched in Sydney today.

IT-CMF is a development of the Innovation Value Institute (IVI), which began as a collaboration between Intel, Boston Consulting Group and the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

The IVI now has more than 50 members, including Google, Microsoft, Cisco and SAP.

IT-CMF was launched in Europe and the US in July 2010 and makes its way to Australia and New Zealand this week.

It can be useful for a new CIO seeking to understand the strengths, weaknesses, and drivers of the IT organisation’s performance

It is essentially a set of best-practice guidelines for businesses to “help manage and deliver more value from IT”.

Forward said IT-CMF is a great tool to “get a baseline” for IT performance.

In Australia BCG is hosting a series of meetings with CIOs to gather the level of interest.

Ralf Dresichmeier, senior partner and managing director of BCG’s London office and co-founder and board member of IVI, said the level of interest has been very positive and the reaction is IT-CMF can “fill the gap we have as an industry”. Dresichmeier runs BCG's IT consulting practice in Europe.

“As part of the development of IT-CMF we looked at more than 30 frameworks currently used and none of these does what IT-CMF does,” Dresichmeier said.

“None comprehensively cover all IT capabilities [and] then you have the unique differentiator that focuses on business value creation. Also, none of the frameworks we have looked have been developed with a combination of academic and industry experience.”

So far about 100 organisations globally have done detailed assessments with IT-CMF, which Dresichmeier says complements the popular ITIL framework.

“There is not a single coherent framework. Other frameworks are doing bits and pieces and there is a lack of focus in terms of value generation,” he said.

How can CIOs get started with IT-CMF? Dresichmeier says there are various different ways to start using it “depending on where you are at”.

“You want to look at the overall capability of the IT function and IT-CMF has a high-level assessment of the 32 process capabilities that IT does to get a holistic view,” he said.

“That will result in areas for further investigation if you are below a industry benchmark. It can also be useful for a new CIO seeking to understand the strengths, weaknesses, and drivers of the IT organisation’s performance.”

IT-CMF can be used for specific business problems and there are benchmarks for various industries.

While IT-CMF can be used for benchmarking, Dresichmeier said it is “much more” than another benchmarking tool.

“An individual company assessment will identify where you should be for your business and where you can be below average,” he said.

Locally, Stefan Mohr, who leads the Australian IT consulting practice at BCG in Sydney, said the company is in discussions with local enterprises to get one involved with the IVI.

“There are some players in Australia that could very well fit this bill,” Mohr said.

“The interest we have so far is from organisations where IT matters most like banks and telcos. They were well represented and we are having follow up discussions.”

Mohr said local universities have expressed interest in offering coursed around IT-CMF as there are overseas already.

Follow Rodney Gedda on Twitter: @rodneygedda

Follow CIO Australia on Twitter: @CIO_Australia

Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.

More about: Boston Consulting, Boston Consulting Group, BT, BT Financial Group, Cisco, Google, Intel, Microsoft, SAP
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