CIO change agents: The art of the IT turnaround


CIOs are garnering plaudits for digital transformations that fortify operations and generate new revenue streams. But before IT leaders can initiate a bet-the-house overhaul, many must foster a far more foundational transition: IT culture change.

Such turnarounds are essential for IT departments that have grown stagnant from long-running servitude as order takers, “too many cooks in the kitchen” syndrome, or the inexorable death march that accompanies an unwillingness to take risks.[ Learn from your peers: Check out our State of the CIO 2021 report on the challenges and concerns of CIOs today. | Find out the 7 skills of successful digital leaders and the secrets of highly innovative CIOs. | Get weekly insights by signing up for our CIO Leader newsletter. ]

Such scenarios require change agents who can orchestrate a fundamental transformation of the people, processes, and technology that constitute the fabric of IT. Exemplars of such changes recently shared with their turnaround stories, as well as lessons they gleaned from their journeys in transforming IT.

Reclaiming agency

Online flower network FTD has been through several turnarounds in its 111-year history, but perhaps none has been as significant as the one it has undertaken since Nexus Capital Management acquired the company and took it private two years ago.


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