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The New CIO Mandate

Technology is Relentless

Technology can be many things, but the most appropriate word might be “relentless.” It’s this relentless pace of technology growing, changing, failing and expanding that makes the CIO perhaps the most important—and most criticized—member of the executive team. In this article, Dion Hinchcliffe explains how the CIO needs to be more involved in guiding their organization, particularly because IT is becoming so pervasive that almost everyone has their hand in managing IT projects.

In most organizations the CIO is still the person responsible for most IT initiatives. As the article explains, they are the most respected and most effective resource for getting complex IT projects moving. But that’s not to say that there aren’t projects that the CIO struggles to be a part of:

Yet businesses are increasingly urged to apply digital innovation directly to their products, the way they operate, to their business models, and increasingly all three.  McKinsey's latest global survey on digital business shows that traditional organizations are increasingly positioning themselves to make such transformation, but “at best, their companies are one-quarter of the way toward realizing the end-state vision for their digital programs.” I would venture that with the current pace of tech change that is a fairly optimistic estimate of progress.

The news for CIOs isn't all gloomy: CEOs are increasingly likely to sponsor digital transformation programs, with 31% personally backing them last year, compared to a palty 23% the year before according to the aforementioned survey. Such sponsorship is more likely to produce the kind of needed change and to do it faster, and thus increase the chances of success.

The CIO Mandate

This brings us to the CIO mandate, which Hinchcliffe encountered at the ASAE Technology Conference in Washington, D.C. last December. The five elements of the CIO mandate are:

  1. Lead the business from the front
  2. Re-invent the business for next-generation digital
  3. Create new and highly engaging digital, workplace, customer, and business partner experiences
  4. Enable emergent, decentralized tech change in the organization
  5. Don’t constrain IT, fundamentally empower


For a full explanation of these five elements, read the original article:

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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