In Progress

The Future of the IT Organization

Jill, CEO of a large manufacturing company, happens upon Kim, the Chief Information Officer, in the lunch room. 

She asks “Kim, have you got a moment? I was thinking last night. For many years we have had an IT organization providing the infrastructure and applications to run our business processes. Suddenly it seems like we find ourselves in a world where information and technology are so pervasive. I constantly read about more and more sophisticated services the cloud can provide us, instead of us building them ourselves. Customers and consumers expect more and more sophisticated digital services. There is an opportunity to sense and control our factory equipment through the Internet of Things. And there is more and more data and more and more sophisticated data science and machine intelligence we can apply to it for competitive advantage. Kim, in your opinion, is your IT organization the right engine for our increasingly digital business? Have you got the right focus, the right skills, the right technology, the right budget, the right connections to the rest of the business? Or do we need to transform any of these capabilities?” 

This project helps Kim (and other IT and digital leaders) address this question, and specifically researches: 

  • What does the IT organization need to do more of, less of, or different? 
  • What will the effect of increasingly powerful cloud services have on what needs to be done internally, vs consumed externally, and what role should the IT organization play in the rest of the business consuming cloud services directly? 
  • How should the IT organization’s processes and practices evolve, to increase agility and anti-fragility? 
  • What are the connection points between the IT organization and the rest of the business that need to evolve? 
  • What technologies and technology services, in particular Cloud, will transform the IT organization, and how? 
  • How should CIOs address the opportunities IoT presents for their businesses? 
  • What is the likely impact on financial flows? 
  • What are the stepping stones to the future IT organization? 

Importantly, LEF recognizes and believes that both the journey and the envisaged end state may, and probably should, be different for each business and government agency. 

The future of the IT organization

Bill Murray

Senior Researcher and Advisor

Bill Murray is a Senior Researcher and Advisor for Leading Edge Forum.  Bill is the author of our reports on Liberating Platform Organizations and Rethink Risk Through the Lens of Antifragility. He is also the co-author (with Glen Robinson) of our publication The Renaissance of the IT Organization.

Bill’s IT career spans over 30 years, with 16 years as a Founder and Partner of Differentis, providing strategic IT consulting services to many industry sectors.  Bill has experience of developing Digital and business technology strategies, business cases and change programmes involving technology disruptions such as consumerization, analytics and cloud-based services.  Most recently, Bill has been helping clients develop IoT enabled business propositions and services in Connected Health, Connected Insurance, FMCG and supply chains, and advising on IoT platforms.

Bill’s experience also includes setting up/running business and IT innovation projects; shaping and growing analytics groups; IT organisation reviews; development of strategic IT initiatives and business cases; development of business and IT architectures; IT strategy definition; mobilization, delivery and turnaround of major programmes and business process re-engineering.

Prior to Differentis, Bill was Vice President of Management Consulting and Strategic Development for CSC where he consulted to clients on IT strategy, programme management and business/IT innovation projects.  Prior to CSC, Bill held various strategy roles with KPMG Nolan Norton and Accenture. 

Bill is a chartered engineer by background and started his career with Arup in high energy impact analysis in the nuclear and automotive industries.

Glen Robinson

Emerging Technology Director and Distinguished Engineer
Leading Edge Forum

Glen helps create 21st Century Humans.

Technology is constantly reinventing itself and keeping pace is a long-term investment.

In his role as Emerging Technology Director for the LEF, Glen is constantly exploring the emerging technology advances that will augment our lives, changing the way we think about everything.

Glen takes these learnings and delivers them to customers in the form of the Digital Experience Lab, or Xlab, which is part of the 21st Century Human programme. This haptic learning experience helps customers build confidence and competence in a vast array of digital tools that are available to them today. Using these responsibly to augment our lives in a positive way is the outcome of the workshops he runs, tasking attendees to consider their current level of digital maturity and injecting ideas for personal development and improvement through a more responsible, competent use of digital.

Glen also arranges Study Tours where he facilitates tours of global technology hubs, immersing customers in the technology they seek to understand the impact of better.

A frequent speaker at customer and industry events, Glen also leads the 21st Century Human community, is a STEM ambassador, a distinguished engineer for DXC Technology, passionate about the environment, and a very average surfer. Most of all, he enjoys helping others build the lifelong skills which make happy, healthy and more productive individuals, all essential capabilities needed for success in the 21st Century. 


Dave Aron

Global Research Director
Leading Edge Forum

Dave Aron, based in the UK, is Global Research Director for Leading Edge Forum.  In this position, he guides a series of global research initiatives aimed at helping CIOs and other Business/ IT leaders reimagine their organizations and leadership for a tech-driven future. Dave is the author of our 2017 reports, Unleashing Digital Talent for Fun and Profit and Winning in the 21st Century - A User's Guide.

Dave’s key areas of research include digital business, strategy and new business models.  Previously, Dave spent more than 12 years at Gartner, as a Gartner Fellow, focusing on strategy and CIO leadership issues.  Dave has more than 30 years’ experience in the IT business, and has been writing, speaking and teaching on digital business, IT strategy and other topics around the world for more than a decade.

Dave holds a BSc in Computer Science from Queen Mary College, and an MBA from London Business School.

Dave's alter ego is Mu, The 21st Century Anti-Strategist, which comprises Dave's distilled thoughts about what doesn't make sense as 20th century organizations sleepwalk into the 21st century.


We will combine discussing issues and advanced practices with conventional companies, as well as exploring the approaches of organizations that are on the extremes of the questions discussed above, including those don’t have conventional IT organizations, and those where the organization formerly known as IT have taken on significant other and different responsibilities and capabilities.


We would be delighted to hear from organizations that are interested in contributing ideas and experiences to this research. To participate, please contact Bill by email at


As a result of taking part in a 60-minute telephone research interview, you will benefit from early access to the findings. We also hope you will find the interview itself challenging and thought provoking.


A research report and summary that provides insights through case studies, tools and action plans to be published in October 2017. A workshop that LEF can conduct with clients to drive their thinking on the future of the IT organization.