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Top Five Lessons for CIOs from IBM C-Suite Report

IBM’s recent “Exploring the Inner Circle” report encompasses information drawn from actual conversations with over 4,100 C-suite executives globally. Some of its insights are sure to raise some eyebrows. And to facilitate that eyebrow-raising, Peter High writes for Forbes about what he sees as the top five lessons that CIOs can take away from the report:

  1. CIOs are viewed as the third most strategic member of the C-suite other than the CEO
  2. CIOs are thought to be the most specialized member of the C-suite
  3. The “CEO-CIO-CMO triumvirate” is considered the most likely to outperform among possible management trios
  4. Collaboration is the most important attribute for success among the C-suite, an area that CIOs are well positioned to lead
  5. Technology’s pervasiveness and increasing strategic importance presents an opportunity for CIOs to be bigger value contributors in the future

Analysis

Third-place for most strategic is not too shabby; CFOs and CMOs ranked higher, in that order. It means CIOs still have a ways to go in terms of influence, but it also shows that they have come a long way already. And while it sounds like CIOs being the “most specialized” should be a good thing, it actually means that executives do not find CIOs to be closely aligned in enough of the important pillars of business. Nonetheless, CIOs were considered a more favorable trio with CEO and CMO than the CFO was, because the best CIOs are able to use their knowledge of technology and end-to-end business vision to devise better strategies to work together. In this way, CIOs should be apt leaders for collaborative efforts, though the report finds that not enough CIOs have quite hit that level yet.

On the final lesson, High has to say:

To an increasing extent, business trends and technology trends have merged.  This means that the rest of the C-suite is increasingly cognizant of the value that IT can deliver, and they are curious about better use of technology in ways that they may not have been in year’s past.  CIOs must strive to put themselves in the center of conversations about mobility, social, analytics, the internet of things, and the like to help define the value propositions that these and other trends potentially deliver to the company.

It seems the takeaway here is that CIOs still have a lot of untapped potential, but once they do fully realize that potential—watch out! You can read High’s full article here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterhigh/2014/06/24/ibm-top-five-lessons-for-cios-from-c-suite-report/

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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