Yes, that headline hurts to read, but according to this blog post by Nick Heath, it's accurate: a recent survey by Ernst and Young found that nearly 60 percent of CIOs questioned believed they were a valuable asset to the corporate strategy, but only 35 percent of their peers agreed. This is contradictory, of course, as IT has never hit so many areas of the business as it does today, but still the lingering belief in other C-level execs that the CIO doesn't add much value remains. The CIO needs to shake off this belief, and they can do that through improving their corporate reputation. The CIO should push other execs to see them as more than just an IT budget and begin seeing IT as a way of expanding innovation and agility within the organization. This isn't easy, however – getting an audience with other business leaders means knowing their business as well as the CIOs. Learning the language and concerns of every business areas puts the CIO in a tough spot – and that's even before they have a chance to break out of the traditional IT specific role of the CIO. The article cites how this can be done, and the benefit of the effort:
Dave Ryerkerk, Ernst & Young Global IT Advisory Leader said that actions speak louder than words and advised that CIOs secure “the chance to support a major business project of some kind, which can, in turn, make a specific impact on how the rest of the business operates. “Once business leaders start to recognize an IT leader as someone who can transform the way they operate their business, perceptions can quickly start to shift. This will be especially clear if the resultant changes in the business operating model impacts top line revenue growth.”
Once the CIO has the ear and trust of other C-level leaders, getting into the strategic role becomes much more of reality, allowing for the importance of the CIO to shine through. So – are you just another five minute feature of the weekly exec meeting or are you on your way to war-room strategy discussions?