Rainmakers is to serve as a collaborator in a new research initiative - the profIT Research Initiative - an effort intended to provide insights about the changing ways that IT functions in organizations contribute - and communicate - value to the organizations they serve.
The goal of the profIT Research Initiative is to gain a greater understanding of trends and issues that affect how internal IT organizations provide value – and contribute to the profitability of the organizations they serve. The profIT Research Team is working to understand:
- The current structures and directions of IT departments of functions.
- Trends or “drivers” likely to affect IT in the next 12 – 18 months.
- How IT executives assess their current and future plans in several areas: business performance, communications (i.e. “marketing and sales” effectiveness, service delivery, service quality and employee practices
The research information will offer fresh and practical insights about key drivers and trends faced by technology leaders in the Chicago area. Participants will be able to determine patterns of value contribution - and able to recognize organizations will similar contribution objectives.
The profIT Research Initiative has been developed by TSD and conducted in conjunction with the Illinois CIO Exchange with academic support from the Northern Illinois University. ’s Center for Technology and Process Management in the Department of Operations Management & Information Systems.
For several years, TSD has conducted market and industry research in the IT sector. Through published papers and presentations, the firm has shared its findings with IT Professional Associations, Media and Trade Press outlets and academic centers.
The Illinois CIO Exchange, based in Chicago, is one of the nation's fastest growing organizations for CIOs and IT leaders. Northern Illinois University’s Center for Technology and Process Management in the Department of Operations Management & Information Systems has earned national recognition for its increasing prominence as an academic institution focused on responding to the business and information technology concerns of the Chicago and Northern Illinois region.
The profIT Research Initiative is organized in three phases - each with a specific purpose and value.
Phase I - Market Scan – (Complete) - a detailed analysis of media, academic and research publications addressing IT issues.
Phase II - Profiling (Complete) – Interviews and focus groups with a select group of approximately CIOS (chief information officers), CTO’s (chief technical officers) or their functional equivalents to participate in preliminary field research. Interview questions focus on viewpoints about specific business topics regarding trends (and changes that have occurred) that affect their IT functions contribute value of their organizations.
Phase III - Executive Survey – (Now in progress) Interviews and an online survey to explore trends identified in Phases I and II.
Current Findings and Reactions
With two research phases now complete, the profIT Research Initiative has already begun to provide fresh, new insights. For example, Phases I and II revealed that most IT organizations operate along an “IT Contribution Continuum” based on the needs of the organizations they serve. Some focus exclusively on internal functions and customers. However, increasingly, many IT organizations have begun to serve external user groups – operating much like a commercial entity.
Previews of the IT Contribution Continuum, conducted at three national IT conferences have proven popular with IT executives and researchers.
The Benefits of Participation
Participants receive a number of benefits for their involvement in theprofIT Research Initiative. Interviewees and survey participants receive copies of all research including: executive survey results, comprehensive data about findings, a published White Paper and an invitation to an ICE-sponsored presentation of data prior to publication.
A published report that summarizes the 2004 profIT Research Initiative will be released in late 2004. Research Team members have committed to availability for presentations to trade, professional and academic groups following the release of the study.
For more information – including an online presentation about the profIT Research Initiative - visit www.TechServDev.com and access the “profIT Research Initiative” section or call Rainmakers at 847/251-3327.