Driving IT Innovation

Driving IT Innovation

A Roadmap for CIOs to Reinvent the Future

Edition 1.0 | Copyright 2019 | Publication Date: November 2018

James D. McKeen, Queen’s University
Heather A. Smith, Queen’s University


This is a business trade book designed for practitioners. Prospect Press does not routinely provide professional review copies for this book. If you are looking for a traditional textbook that covers this material in a more academic format see McKeen & Smith, IT Strategy and Innovation.

Why do many great IT departments fail at innovation?

The astounding speed of technological progress and evolution is pushing some companies to the front of the pack while leaving others playing catch-up. Information technology (IT) professionals are on the front lines of this battle and, in order to win, they must develop the capabilities and leadership mindset to innovate and thrive in the digital world. Driving IT Innovation is a practical blueprint that IT executives and managers can use to learn how to propel innovation through IT.


Praise for Driving IT Innovation

“As a CIO focused on transformation, I found the content in this book extremely relevant and actionable for developing IT talent. It succinctly addresses the mix of skills needed to be a successful technologist in today’s fast-paced business climate.”

— Julia Anderson, Global CIO, Smithfield Foods

“What an informative read. This book is truly for IT practitioners trying to find the right mix between innovation, strategy, and “keeping the lights on.” The recommendations have been thought through from all angles and can be applied across a broad spectrum of industries. I highly recommend this book to anyone trying to leverage IT to generate business value.”

— Vineet Gupta, CIO Luxury Brands, AccorHotels

“Innovation has become the primary driver for organizations to handle disruption – fending it off or doing the disrupting themselves. But innovation itself is a tough nut to crack. In their new book Smith and McKeen have found the right nutcracker. Their logical blueprint for approaching innovation is an essential guidebook for IT organizations. This book, however, goes way beyond that. It should be considered mandatory reading for every organization that works with IT. Highly recommended!”

— Kelly Kanellakis, VP, Architecture and Ecosystems, Dell EMC

“This is one of those rare books that provides clear and concise understanding of the technology drivers of innovation and what actions to take to advance it. The practical recommendations based on real-world experiences from IT executives comes through. This is a great guide for any IT organization wanting to be a strategic partner in taking their company to the next level of innovation.”

— Bruce Leidal, CIO, Carestream Health

“The accumulation of information systems building expertise and information technology advances over the last half-century have created a global innovation avalanche. All around the world IT innovation is changing everyday life. Every enterprise now needs an action-oriented blueprint for IT-driven innovation. Heather Smith and Jim McKeen provide the framework and insights for you to make a plan for an innovative future by drawing upon the insights they have gained from their extensive field research over multiple decades. This is a book to read carefully and consult frequently.”

— Rick Watson, J. Rex Fuqua Distinguished Chair for Internet Strategy, Terry College of Business, University of Georgia

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

  • Section I. Opportunity Drivers
  • Chapter 1. Artificial Intelligence
  • Chapter 2. The API Economy
  • Chapter 3. Emerging Technologies

  • Section II. Discovery Drivers
  • Chapter 4. Thought Leadership
  • Chapter 5. Digital Strategy
  • Chapter 6. Experimentation

  • Section III. Delivery Drivers
  • Chapter 7. Redefining IT Governance
  • Chapter 8. Managing IT Disruption
  • Chapter 9. DevOps

  • Index

About the Authors

James D. McKeen is Professor Emeritus at the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University. He has worked in the IT field for many years as a practitioner, researcher, and consultant. In 2018, he joined Empire Life as interim SVP and CTO. He now serves as a technology and strategy adviser. Dr. McKean has taught at universities in the U.S. as well as abroad in the U.K., France, and Germany. He was named the 2011 “IT Educator of the Year” by ComputerWorld Canada. The previous edition of this textbook– IT Strategy: Issues and Practices – was the best-selling business book in Canada (Globe and Mail, April 2012).

James D. McKeen

Heather A. Smith is a Senior Research Associate at the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University. She was named the most published researcher on IT management issues in two successive studies (2006, 2009). She is also a Senior Research Associate with the American Society for Information Management’s Advanced Practices Council. A former IT manager, she is co-director of the IT Management Forum that facilitates inter-organizational learning among senior IT executives.

Heather A. Smith

Instructor Resources

This is a business trade book designed for practitioners. Prospect Press does not provide any instructors material for this book.

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