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CIO’s Tough Choice: Be Proactive or Reactive?

When most of your early career is spent maintaining, it may be hard to make proactive changes for the future.  This is a trend experienced by many CIOs when deciding whether to react to issues with old technologies or to try a new technology.  Pearl Zhu offers some explanation as to why some CIOs do not feel they have the power to make change: CIOs are not empowered enough.  Business’s attitude to IT:  It all depends on how IT is treated as a cost-centre or a strategic partner to the business.  Is the company willing to take the risk that involves the adoption of new technologies?  Does the new technology contribute to the business objectives?  Is the new technology aligned with IT strategic plan or is just a whim of the vendor?  If IT is considered just an executor and a follower of business leads and their decisions, then the CIOs are not empowered enough to take decisions which obviously lead them to be reactive, but not proactive. Zhou notes that, from a business perspective, CIOs are not considered to be a huge part of planning and strategic decision making.  This could make it difficult to suggest proactive changes.  Also, they are stuck in the “maintaining mindset” which also discourages change. Zhou also mentions that there are, in fact, some reasons for CIOs to be reluctant to adopt new technology.  Perhaps the budget is simply not in place or the organizational need is not great enough.  The trick, according to Zhou, is to make IT an enabler of business.  The more payoff an organization can see from using new technology, the easier it will be for the CIO to make similar changes in the future.

About Matthew Kabik

Matthew Kabik is the former Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He worked at Computer Aid, Inc. from 2008 to 2014 in the Harrisburg offices, where he was a copywriter, swordsman, social media consultant, and trainer before moving into editorial.

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