The most successful CIOs nowadays are those who maintain the legacy system while simultaneously looking for innovations to adapt to changes. Strategic CIOs need to identify their own goals, and then align their innovations with business needs through collaboration and high skill. This requires CIOs to take on a digital mindset that adopts a “default to yes” IT philosophy. Michael Krigsman, in an article for ZDNet, discusses findings of a recent Deloitte survey that describes three CIO archetypes:
- Trusted operators: focus on efficiency and performance to get thing more reliable, predictable, accurate, and less costly
- Change instigators: lead transformation efforts to drive the imaginative and deliberative
- Business co-creators: support revenue and growth, and answer the question, “How do we align with strategic initiatives and drive real change?”
Encourage Digital CIOs to Thrive
There is apparently an even mix of these three CIO types, and there will be overlaps in priorities at times. For instance, technology-minded CIOs have to understand that conservatism doesn’t work as well in IT as in politics. Agile is becoming the norm. You can maintain the legacy systems, but key areas can be improved to adjust to the time being. To truly adopt agile, it takes a significant change in the way the business works with IT to enhance the quality of service delivery.
It is important for CIOs to instill a culture of curiosity and learning in the workplace. Working is only meaningful when there are opportunities for learning and challenging traditions. According to Deloitte’s Bill Briggs, this means staying relevant and credible:
It means I have to invest in tools and use DevOps as an umbrella for a lot of things. I need to automate testing in a way that I probably can’t do at scale today. I need to automate release management, so there is less hands-on, manual labor on keyboards. I need to invest in autonomic processes that help IT run and free up my people to do more important things.
Speed in IT is also a competitive advantage, but it has to be done right. “Right-speed” IT (not necessarily bimodal IT) can drive a business, and shape the pattern of technology. This will require CIOs to interact effectively with the IT department to push for digital transformation, while igniting business solutions that affect the organization as a whole.
You can view the original article and an accompanying video with Briggs here: http://www.zdnet.com/article/cio-workshop-become-a-digital-leader/