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How to be the CIO of Tomorrow

Becoming the CIO of tomorrow acquires a new sense of urgency when one considers the phrase, “Tomorrow comes today.” If you are a CIO, it is quite an interesting time to be in business, since one false move could tip you over to the old technical tradition, a paradigm that is quickly giving way to the agile, mobile, business-oriented future.’s Tom Kaneshige interviews GE Capital International CIO Kevin Griffin about what you can do to keep up with the latest trends in the biz.

The Future is Now!

In the future (meaning now), a CIO won’t need a whole lot of technical acumen to excel at his or her position. The keys to driving the Ferrari will come in the form of leadership ability, business comprehension, and an ability to learn (as opposed to already knowing everything).

From Grocer to Farmer

The technical skills traditionally favored in CIOs are being farmed out. Vendors, customers, and partners: stakeholders are taking on the technical burdens so that the CIO can be an agile coordinator and path-forger. This is the miracle of the cross functional solution. When different members of various teams pool their talents, there’s no limit to what IT and the business can accomplish.

But this “best-of-breed” mentality begs the question of who will coordinate and forge these new alliances between departments and specialties. Why, the CIO will, of course. Griffin says it best:

I see the CIO as taking the guardian or custodian role, so we don't have shadow IT organizations popping up everywhere. The days of IT strategy getting decided just by the CIO, and the CIO having to convince the CFO or CEO, are gone. The CIO has to be able to take input from all sources and manage and direct the conversation at board level to ensure that we're getting a 360-degree view of what we should be doing. 

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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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