Interim CIO Files: The Case of the Runaway Train
The latest in a series of adventures based on real client assignments. The situation and results are real. The story is just for fun. Enjoy.
Harrison was no stranger to chaotic situations; not after a career in technology. He was enjoying a few peaceful moments reassembling one of his latest gadgets when he got the call from Cerius central.
The problem: A multi-billion dollar healthcare provider lost their CIO. Unfortunately, it was not a happy parting of the ways. The company manages highly sensitive documents. Any glitches could cause millions in loss not to mention the potential for fines and lawsuits. The IT department was spinning out of control.
Cerius had been in discussions all weekend with them and verified the severity of the situation. Harrison started packing and was boarding a flight within hours of the call. He was stepping in as interim CIO to stop a runaway train.
When Harrison arrived at the scene, he was faced with looks of desperation. The executive staff and managers had been running around patching holes until they felt as if the whole infrastructure was one big Band-Aid. IT projects were out of control, months behind schedule, and severely over budget. Click here to read the full case study.
His first step was to assure them while the situation did appear hopeless, it was not. Communication between personnel was on the top of this list. Clear standards within departments helped them make quicker decisions on architecture and projects that and been backed up for months.
He next put in a request for a backup IT team. In particular, he wanted to make sure that the client’s huge database and computer system were clear of any viruses. Some of the trickiest bombs he had ever diffused were in information systems.
It was a rocky start to rebuild something that had taken so much fire but the team was determined and Harrison provided the much-needed senior leadership within the IT ranks.
When he left, six months later, the IT budget had been reduced by over $7 million with plans for an additional $1.5-2 million in reductions to come. Key projects were completed or back on schedule. Harrison left a strong team, with strong processes and strong systems.
For the following six months Harrison would check-in monthly until he knew they were safe and secure with the new IT leadership.
When a department or function races out of control pick up the phone and call Cerius Executives before things can leave the tracks.