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CIOs As Rainmakers: The New Meme, Deconstructed

Have you heard the newest phrase when referring to IT transforming and aligning to business? It’s “rainmaker”, and Jonathan Feldman uses this post to deconstruct the meme and explain how to respond to the new demands being placed on the CIO. To begin with, Feldman explains how IT has become a commodity, and how that commodity is expected to perform for less, faster, and make money for all areas of the business. He also makes sure to correct the assumption that CIOs aren't already working to make businesses money, or that they haven’t already established alignment with business units: I drill this into my staff's heads until I hear them quoting it to others: “There are no technology projects; there are only business projects with technology components.” IT should be pervasive in everything that modern companies do. That doesn't mean that CIOs are all of a sudden in charge of everything a modern organization does. Nor does it mean there are CIOs out there who singlehandedly have created revenue for their companies. I've helped my organization generate more revenue, but I would never dream of taking sole credit for it. To the point of IT taking over every aspect of an organization, Feldman adds that IT’s role has never really changed (though it changes all the time): help the business succeed. If IT can manage to do that, no matter how the capacity of that help changes, it will continue to be pervasive in all aspects of the business and likewise continue to help grow revenue and innovation. But, that growth and help must not come at the expense of being remarkably good at IT – the CIO must keep the principles of sound practice in mind no matter how hard the business pulls at IT to move away from the information technology role. The balancing act may seem too difficult, but that’s what will separate the “rainmaker” from the overlooked CIO.  

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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