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on 26 November 2008
Chris Potts is a brave author, his new book - fruITion: Creating the Ultimate Corporate Strategy for Information Technology is a novel written around the story of a CIO and his IT strategy. Notwithstanding the dryness of the subject matter, this is an encouraging tale of courage and growth.

fruITion tells the story of Ian, a CIO suddenly faced with a very different future when the Chief Executive rejects a carefully crafted IT strategy and "suggests" that Ian needs to make some serious changes, not only to the strategy but also to his own role within the organisation. And quickly.

Ian has only a fortnight to sort himself out so this very readable book moves swiftly through a sequence of meetings and reflections that begin the transformation of Ian from IT-centric boardroom bystander to key business player. His biggest challenge is letting go of the past - and letting go of the boxes.

For many years a large proportion of CIOs and directors have expressed their deep frustration at not being at the top table, or who feel that their management talents are overshadowed by the routine pressures of simply "keeping the lights on."

I recommend this book because it offers a much brighter future for any directors and managers trapped in the bowels of the business. Read fruITion and resolve to be braver.
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on 12 November 2009
Many organisations struggle over the best place for IT within the organisation and extracting the best business value from investment.

In fruITion, respected CIO commentator Chris Potts sets out his views in a very easy to read fashion. His main themes are that having IT as a separate department has failed to deliver business benefits from investment, that IT should be (largely) integrated into the business units and that initiatives should be treated as business change projects rather than IT projects.

He also concludes that there shouldn't be CIOs. Rather, there should be an individual (a Chief Internal Investment Officer) whose job it is to lead the internal investment portfolio, including all resulting business change, and be accountable for the value the organisation gets out of its investments.

Whilst agreeing with much of what Chris Potts says, the aspect this doesn't consider is the role that IT has in innovation - bringing radically different ways of working to the organisation; not something that will generally come from within existing business units. The most obvious examples of this are Amazon in retail and Google with advertising (although innovation isn't always as ground breaking as this).
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on 19 December 2013
The basic ideas behind this are good, and could be summarised pretty quickly. But you have to read a dire story that even tries, in one painful chapter, to include romance. Skip the story and read the bullets at the end of each chapter!!!
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on 1 September 2014
A thought provoking read, which challenges preconceptions about the role of CIO/IT Director -

on Alignment and Relationships : Alignment for Internal IT indicates leadership failings, and a relationship role to connect the IT function with the business separates both rather then integrates them
on Strategy : Drives IT to consider its position as an enabler of value and not its direct creator.
on Projects : True investment thinking - IT is a component of business change, not an end itself ( although skips over the BAU investment in keeping things going )
on BAU : its the commodity that keeps on taking
on Empires : its not your territory

it warrants consideration ( especially around portfolio/investment governance and BAU IT management ).
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on 18 September 2009
This book is remarkable. The subject of IT strategy would be dry even to those involved in it. Personally, I have little interest in IT and none at all in strategy, but I picked up this book because of my interest in the way that companies (fail to) work.

Potts' stroke of genius is wrapping his message into a highly readable parable, with some bullet points reiterating the message in a more formal way at the end of each chapter. The protagonist's conversations (with, frankly, the sharpest set of business people you could imagine - not like any I've ever met!) are concise and targetted, losing the fluff and circuitous discussions you would get in a normal company.

I didn't think I could whizz through a business book this quickly, nor be as engrossed. Highly recommended!
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on 22 June 2010
Never before have I found a book on IT - and IT Management at that - so compelling. This is a hugely accessible book that you can get through in an evening. You will almost certainly want to come back to it though. The narrative style is disarming, and remarkable in that such a potentially dry book actually has a 'narrative style' at all. Far from being basic and patronizing, the concepts and philosophies delivered are extremely complex, but with a directness and clarity that assumes you are sensible enough to figure out what you don't know, and then go and research it elsewhere.

As to the message of the book: I was inspired. Also relieved that there are newer ways of thinking about IT management.
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on 18 May 2009
In FruITion, Chris Potts postulates that the best IT strategy is no IT strategy and that IT departments will be treated as a supplier (rather than a business colleague) if it acts like a supplier. Both are provocative and thought provoking notions.

FruITion is an easy ready, and I do recommend it for all CIOs or wannabes.
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on 11 December 2012
At a time when organisations all over the world are reeling from the impact of mass consumer technology on our thinking and working habits, Chris Potts is a voice of sanity. The scolarship, experience and wisdom embedded in his business novels are unmatched in information technology at this time. His truths and implicit recommendations are beyond anything I've read in a business book. This guy gets it and he's on a mission to explain it to the rest of the corporate world. Read Fruition for corporate straegy for information, read Rcreation to understand the potential of enterprise architecture and read his latest book, Defriction, to bring it all together in a world where we can maximise the value from change.
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on 12 April 2011
This is a light-hearted book on IT strategy - well written, accessible, but packed full of interesting ideas and approaches.

I'd recommend it before diving into writing your strategy in the way you always have!
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