Balanced Attack Plan

Paul Corning ,   Board Member

Paul Corning

Board Member

As head coach of your organization you get to set the game plan.  It is your job, your responsibility, to establish the strategy and tactics across your organization.   Championship teams can win with many different combinations, but rarely do they succeed without achieving a balance of offensive and defensive mindset.  You need to keep your IT team focused on both if you want to win as an organization. In your industry, in your company, with your team, how have you intentionally focused their collective mindset for the best possible outcome?

Example offensive and defensive positions:


Latest malware or security threat, taking action on audit issues

Broad strategy for access and security, CISO leadership, security awareness programs


Current projects, current portfolio, upgrades, break/fix work

Leading business innovation,  Technology strategy, Enterprise Architecture 

Operations & Support

Provisioning, data center management, call resolution

Cloud strategy, data center optimization, minimizing calls, DevOps


Reporting and descriptive analytics, data quality issues

Predictive analytics and machine learning, data governance


Lowest cost, up-time

Agility and scalability


Current players in best position, filling gaps, contracting

Career development, succession planning    

Business Process

Process Improvement, BPM

Digital Transformation

It would be easy to think that we should focus 90% of our mindshare on the current hot technology or solution (offense), but as you can attest the political reality of any IT organization forces a more typically defensive mindset.  Rare is the long-tenured CIO who does not balance innovation and growth with excellence in operations and keeping the systems up and lights on.

There are many moves that you can make that will help achieve the right balance in your team.  It is unlikely that you can focus only on offense, or defense, in any one area of your organization. Budget and staffing issues can make it difficult to carve out an offensive focus but it is a critical dependency for your team's success. For IT to win, you need a balanced game-plan across your organization that you and your leadership team must own.  

Please join us on Wednesday, November 8th for a  member give-back event at Feed My Starving Children in Schaumburg, where we will help out at a local food bank that serves our community.