CIODigital Disruption

The Qualities of a Modern CIO

We talk all the time about what it takes to be a great CIO. Sheila Lahar takes information gathered from the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium and boils it down into four essentials for CIOs operating today.

Four Pillars

  1. Agile
  2. Customer-focused
  3. Visible
  4. Innovative

It is easier said than done to be truly agile, but CIOs need to constantly be striving for it all the same. The IT landscape is like quicksand anymore, and there might not be someone there to pull you out if you make a misstep. A shift toward customer service is another big item in recent years, as IT is suddenly expected to step out of its shell and start providing direct, human support to users. Visibility meanwhile is an old mainstay. You need to make it clear what strategies you are implementing and why it is good for business. Lahar then cites the symposium in getting at what being innovative really means:

While the consumer space is driving digital disruption, CIOs should not only embrace the scary change but make change happen themselves – be the innovator at your organization. Andriana Karaboutis of Dell commented “I don’t chase shadow IT, I chase innovation.” She provided an example around the multitude of new cloud applications out in the market that employees are using at Dell. Instead of trying to shut these apps down and drive them out, her team thought of a way to embrace them. At Dell, they could see that these apps were heavily in use so they created a Dell mobile app store for employees – encouraging them to use the apps.

Tomorrow, someone will write an article coming up with eight other mandatory qualities for CIOs to possess, but nonetheless, we can agree that Lahar’s points hold water. You can read her full post here:

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