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Ideas for today, 2017

Vaughn Merlyn is a management consultant and researcher who focuses on technology-driven business strategies among Fortune 500 companies. While the name of his blog, IT Organization Circa 2017, may convey the impression he’s into prognostication, in fact Mr. Merlyn’s ideas are applicable today.

Bring back the Info Centre: Mr. Merlyn harkens back to a concept used in many firms during the 1980s. “Information Centres (ICs) comprised a small group of IT professionals, a suite of tools and, especially early in the IC movement, a place for end users to go to get access to these tools … and the mainframe computers they ran on – often a room with computer terminals, reference materials, a printer or two, photocopier, and so on.” With all the Web 2.0 technologies bombarding enterprise employees, Mr. Merlyn suggests it may be time to resurrect ICs.

Learn from capital markets colleagues: According to Mr. Merlyn, IT organizations in capital markets tend to have a central IT infrastructure/operations group and decentralized business unit groups organized around product lines, such as equity trading. They also tend to show more maturity in their use of technology and achieve great results, he adds, which could be a lesson for others. “I can’t think of many businesses today where highly leveraged IT opportunities don’t exist [even if they have not yet been identified]; where speed [time to value] is not critical; where innovation would not have significant implications for competitiveness and profitability; and where competition isn’t a constant challenge,” he says.

Use some imagination: As a visioning exercise, Mr. Merlyn suggests asking a group of technology workers to write a short play or video about a day in the life of the IT professional in 2012. “Ask another group to meet with business stakeholders and to come back with ‘voice of the customer’ findings – what our customers would like to see from the IT organization five years from now,” he says. “For the truly creative, write an imaginary Fortune magazine feature story about how IT transformed an organization.”

Examine your archetype: Mr. Merlyn uses the image of a gangly teenager to describe the way technology works in many companies. “Perhaps such an organization would have mature physical networking capability, but poor business-IT strategic alignment, and low innovation capabilities. “Imagine the archetype of the ‘child prodigy,’ with high cognitive maturity relative to physical, social and economic maturity – what would the analogous IT organization look like?” It could be the first step toward getting your IT organization to grow up.

Vaughn Merlyn is a management consultant and researcher who focuses on technology-driven business strategies among Fortune 500 companies. While the name of his blog, IT Organization Circa 2017, may convey the impression he’s into prognostication, in fact Mr. Merlyn’s ideas are applicable today.

Bring back the Info Centre: Mr. Merlyn harkens back to a concept used in many firms during the 1980s. “Information Centres (ICs) comprised a small group of IT professionals, a suite of tools and, especially early in the IC movement, a place for end users to go to get access to these tools … and the mainframe computers they ran on – often a room with computer terminals, reference materials, a printer or two, photocopier, and so on.” With all the Web 2.0 technologies bombarding enterprise employees, Mr. Merlyn suggests it may be time to resurrect ICs.

Learn from capital markets colleagues: According to Mr. Merlyn, IT organizations in capital markets tend to have a central IT infrastructure/operations group and decentralized business unit groups organized around product lines, such as equity trading. They also tend to show more maturity in their use of technology and achieve great results, he adds, which could be a lesson for others. “I can’t think of many businesses today where highly leveraged IT opportunities don’t exist [even if they have not yet been identified]; where speed [time to value] is not critical; where innovation would not have significant implications for competitiveness and profitability; and where competition isn’t a constant challenge,” he says.

Use some imagination: As a visioning exercise, Mr. Merlyn suggests asking a group of technology workers to write a short play or video about a day in the life of the IT professional in 2012. “Ask another group to meet with business stakeholders and to come back with ‘voice of the customer’ findings – what our customers would like to see from the IT organization five years from now,” he says. “For the truly creative, write an imaginary Fortune magazine feature story about how IT transformed an organization.”

Examine your archetype: Mr. Merlyn uses the image of a gangly teenager to describe the way technology works in many companies. “Perhaps such an organization would have mature physical networking capability, but poor business-IT strategic alignment, and low innovation capabilities. “Imagine the archetype of the ‘child prodigy,’ with high cognitive maturity relative to physical, social and economic maturity – what would the analogous IT organization look like?” It could be the first step toward getting your IT organization to grow up.

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	at GIS.Servlets.HTMLTemplate.doGet(HTMLTemplate.java:137)
	at GIS.Servlets.StoryHTMLTemplate.doGet(StoryHTMLTemplate.java:96)
	at javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet.service(HttpServlet.java:126)
	at GIS.Common.Servlet.service(Servlet.java:106)
	at javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet.service(HttpServlet.java:103)
	at com.caucho.server.http.FilterChainServlet.doFilter(FilterChainServlet.java:95)
	at com.caucho.server.http.Invocation.service(Invocation.java:291)
	at com.caucho.server.http.CacheInvocation.service(CacheInvocation.java:132)
	at com.caucho.server.http.RunnerRequest.handleRequest(RunnerRequest.java:341)
	at com.caucho.server.http.RunnerRequest.handleConnection(RunnerRequest.java:271)
	at com.caucho.server.TcpConnection.run(TcpConnection.java:136)
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Nested exception: GIS.Common.GICheckedException: Other exception in file: '/usr/local/web_htdocs/tgamv3/v5/includes/navigation/secondaryNav-blog.html'  while processing select element with added parms:{}
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:1511)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:782)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.parse(HTMLTemplateParser.java:751)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:476)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:936)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:782)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.parse(HTMLTemplateParser.java:751)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:476)
	at GIS.Servlets.HTMLTemplate.generate(HTMLTemplate.java:316)
	at GIS.Servlets.HTMLTemplate.processRequest(HTMLTemplate.java:222)
	at GIS.Servlets.HTMLTemplate.doGet(HTMLTemplate.java:137)
	at GIS.Servlets.StoryHTMLTemplate.doGet(StoryHTMLTemplate.java:96)
	at javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet.service(HttpServlet.java:126)
	at GIS.Common.Servlet.service(Servlet.java:106)
	at javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet.service(HttpServlet.java:103)
	at com.caucho.server.http.FilterChainServlet.doFilter(FilterChainServlet.java:95)
	at com.caucho.server.http.Invocation.service(Invocation.java:291)
	at com.caucho.server.http.CacheInvocation.service(CacheInvocation.java:132)
	at com.caucho.server.http.RunnerRequest.handleRequest(RunnerRequest.java:341)
	at com.caucho.server.http.RunnerRequest.handleConnection(RunnerRequest.java:271)
	at com.caucho.server.TcpConnection.run(TcpConnection.java:136)
	at java.lang.Thread.run(Thread.java:662)

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	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:1625)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:782)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.parse(HTMLTemplateParser.java:751)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:476)
	at GIS.Jel.JELSelectProducer.emitChoiceNode(JELSelectProducer.java:48)
	at GIS.Jel.JELSelectOneProducer.generate(JELSelectOneProducer.java:92)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:1502)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:782)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.parse(HTMLTemplateParser.java:751)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:476)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:936)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:782)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.parse(HTMLTemplateParser.java:751)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:476)
	at GIS.Servlets.HTMLTemplate.generate(HTMLTemplate.java:316)
	at GIS.Servlets.HTMLTemplate.processRequest(HTMLTemplate.java:222)
	at GIS.Servlets.HTMLTemplate.doGet(HTMLTemplate.java:137)
	at GIS.Servlets.StoryHTMLTemplate.doGet(StoryHTMLTemplate.java:96)
	at javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet.service(HttpServlet.java:126)
	at GIS.Common.Servlet.service(Servlet.java:106)
	at javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet.service(HttpServlet.java:103)
	at com.caucho.server.http.FilterChainServlet.doFilter(FilterChainServlet.java:95)
	at com.caucho.server.http.Invocation.service(Invocation.java:291)
	at com.caucho.server.http.CacheInvocation.service(CacheInvocation.java:132)
	at com.caucho.server.http.RunnerRequest.handleRequest(RunnerRequest.java:341)
	at com.caucho.server.http.RunnerRequest.handleConnection(RunnerRequest.java:271)
	at com.caucho.server.TcpConnection.run(TcpConnection.java:136)
	at java.lang.Thread.run(Thread.java:662)

Nested exception: java.lang.ClassCastException: org.apache.xerces.dom.ElementNSImpl cannot be cast to com.caucho.xml.QElement
	at com.caucho.xsl.Generator.getXslLocal(Generator.java:2141)
	at com.caucho.xsl.Generator.generate(Generator.java:294)
	at com.caucho.xsl.AbstractStylesheetFactory.generate(AbstractStylesheetFactory.java:819)
	at com.caucho.xsl.AbstractStylesheetFactory.newTemplates(AbstractStylesheetFactory.java:437)
	at com.caucho.xsl.AbstractStylesheetFactory.newTransformer(AbstractStylesheetFactory.java:312)
	at GIS.Universal.XMLTransformer.transform(XMLTransformer.java:262)
	at GIS.Universal.XMLTransformer.transform(XMLTransformer.java:166)
	at GIS.HTMLComments.HTMLProducers.XSLProducer.generate(XSLProducer.java:85)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:1615)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:782)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.parse(HTMLTemplateParser.java:751)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:476)
	at GIS.Jel.JELSelectProducer.emitChoiceNode(JELSelectProducer.java:48)
	at GIS.Jel.JELSelectOneProducer.generate(JELSelectOneProducer.java:92)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:1502)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:782)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.parse(HTMLTemplateParser.java:751)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:476)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:936)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:782)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.parse(HTMLTemplateParser.java:751)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:476)
	at GIS.Servlets.HTMLTemplate.generate(HTMLTemplate.java:316)
	at GIS.Servlets.HTMLTemplate.processRequest(HTMLTemplate.java:222)
	at GIS.Servlets.HTMLTemplate.doGet(HTMLTemplate.java:137)
	at GIS.Servlets.StoryHTMLTemplate.doGet(StoryHTMLTemplate.java:96)
	at javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet.service(HttpServlet.java:126)
	at GIS.Common.Servlet.service(Servlet.java:106)
	at javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet.service(HttpServlet.java:103)
	at com.caucho.server.http.FilterChainServlet.doFilter(FilterChainServlet.java:95)
	at com.caucho.server.http.Invocation.service(Invocation.java:291)
	at com.caucho.server.http.CacheInvocation.service(CacheInvocation.java:132)
	at com.caucho.server.http.RunnerRequest.handleRequest(RunnerRequest.java:341)
	at com.caucho.server.http.RunnerRequest.handleConnection(RunnerRequest.java:271)
	at com.caucho.server.TcpConnection.run(TcpConnection.java:136)
	at java.lang.Thread.run(Thread.java:662)

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	at com.caucho.xsl.Generator.getXslLocal(Generator.java:2141)
	at com.caucho.xsl.Generator.generate(Generator.java:294)
	at com.caucho.xsl.AbstractStylesheetFactory.generate(AbstractStylesheetFactory.java:819)
	at com.caucho.xsl.AbstractStylesheetFactory.newTemplates(AbstractStylesheetFactory.java:437)
	at com.caucho.xsl.AbstractStylesheetFactory.newTransformer(AbstractStylesheetFactory.java:312)
	at GIS.Universal.XMLTransformer.transform(XMLTransformer.java:262)
	at GIS.Universal.XMLTransformer.transform(XMLTransformer.java:166)
	at GIS.HTMLComments.HTMLProducers.XSLProducer.generate(XSLProducer.java:85)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:1615)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:782)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.parse(HTMLTemplateParser.java:751)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:476)
	at GIS.Jel.JELSelectProducer.emitChoiceNode(JELSelectProducer.java:48)
	at GIS.Jel.JELSelectOneProducer.generate(JELSelectOneProducer.java:92)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:1502)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:782)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.parse(HTMLTemplateParser.java:751)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:476)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:936)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:782)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.parse(HTMLTemplateParser.java:751)
	at GIS.Common.HTMLTemplateParser.generate(HTMLTemplateParser.java:476)
	at GIS.Servlets.HTMLTemplate.generate(HTMLTemplate.java:316)
	at GIS.Servlets.HTMLTemplate.processRequest(HTMLTemplate.java:222)
	at GIS.Servlets.HTMLTemplate.doGet(HTMLTemplate.java:137)
	at GIS.Servlets.StoryHTMLTemplate.doGet(StoryHTMLTemplate.java:96)
	at javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet.service(HttpServlet.java:126)
	at GIS.Common.Servlet.service(Servlet.java:106)
	at javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet.service(HttpServlet.java:103)
	at com.caucho.server.http.FilterChainServlet.doFilter(FilterChainServlet.java:95)
	at com.caucho.server.http.Invocation.service(Invocation.java:291)
	at com.caucho.server.http.CacheInvocation.service(CacheInvocation.java:132)
	at com.caucho.server.http.RunnerRequest.handleRequest(RunnerRequest.java:341)
	at com.caucho.server.http.RunnerRequest.handleConnection(RunnerRequest.java:271)
	at com.caucho.server.TcpConnection.run(TcpConnection.java:136)
	at java.lang.Thread.run(Thread.java:662)