As this Wall Street Journal article notes, Clorox CIO Ralph Loura was recently promoted to SVP and added to the executive committee in part, because of his commitment to embracing Technology Business Management (TBM) best practices within Clorox. I was thrilled to see this news because I have tracked Clorox’s evolution while serving with Ralph on the Board of Directors of the TBM Council for the last two years.
Businesses recognizing strategic nature of IT
Ralph became a TBM evangelist after successfully implementing a strategy to run his IT department like a business. As the article states, Ralph’s promotion is “a sign that Clorox, like many companies, is beginning to see information technology as a strategic driver of the business.”
The WSJ article calls Clorox’s move “tectonic shift of sorts in the C-suite with CIOs increasingly joining executive boards and CEOs recognizing the strategic opportunities presented by technology.” I’m seeing a similar shift towards businesses recognizing and acknowledging IT’s responsibility in drive innovation across industries and geographies.
IT has long been seen as a “provider” or “enabler” of services, but not a strategic partner in business decisions. That’s why, this part of Ralph’s interview particularly resonated with me: “There’s nothing wrong with being an enabling function – it’s an important role in the company – but we really felt the true mission of IT was to be part of how we generated growth, how we generated profit, how we built the company.”
I see IT going through some fundamental changes, where the role of the CIO is evolving to become a strategic services provider and business enabler. CIOs that are service-oriented create an opportunity for their IT organization to become true centers of excellence. Ralph is proof of this.
TBM driving IT evolution
The discipline of TBM has been a critical element of Ralph’s success. Before the development of TBM, IT organizations didn’t have the methodology or tools to effectively enable the business. As Ralph says, TBM helped “shift the thinking about IT at Clorox.” By operating with a TBM-enabled model for the last three-and-a-half years, Ralph has elevated the impact and role of IT within his organization.
On a personal note, Ralph has been a good friend and continues to inspire me with his tireless mission of creating TBM as a recognized professional discipline.
As more CIOs adopt the TBM discipline – our 1,200 member-strong (and growing) TBM Council is proof of this – an increasing number of IT leaders will be elevated to strategic positions within their organizations.
Come shape the evolution of IT
Interested in learning more about TBM and hearing from senior technology leaders who run IT like a business? Register now for the TBM Conference 2014, which will be from October 28 – 30 at the Hotel Fontainebleau in Miami.
I look forward to hearing from you on Twitter or in the comments below.