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CIOs Must Learn to ‘Dance’ with Other C-suite Executives

The CMO budget grows while, as technology disrupts and changes today’s workplace, the CIO budget plateaus. Drawing from an expert panel survey at the CIO 100 Symposium, Tom Kaneshige of highlights the current power struggle between the CIO and other C-Suite executives. It seems business leaders are not yet invested enough in IT:

According to a Forrester survey, half of marketing pros do not firmly believe IT accelerates their department's success. This number jumps to three out of four sales executives and four out of five customer service leaders. There's no question CIOs have their work cut out for them to win over other C-suite executives.

The hard reality for CIOs prompted this question from the symposium’s panelists: “What do you as an IT leader and collaborator need to do to be invited to the party and be asked to dance?”

In response to this question, a group of dedicated attendees compiled this list of seven habits every good CIO needs to “dance” to at the executive level.

7 Dance Moves of the Highly Effective CIO

  •  Understanding Industry, Business, and Technology
  • Being Part of a Solution
  • Taking Risks to Innovate
  • Staying on Your Toes, not Your Heels
  • See the Business Outcome
  • Have the Courage to Lead
  • Crashing the C-Party (when necessary)

The foundation of the CIO dance is trust. Without a transparent relationship with the enterprise, there is no room for further movement. The next step is credibility, which can only be attributed through the delivery of genuine business value. Next, the CIO has to demonstrate his/her ability to make the right move toward aligning IT and business goals. With these first steps achieved, the final move will fall into place, and the CIO will strike a pose of mutual respect with fellow C-suite execs.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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