The Modern CIO’s Business-Focused Role: 4 Steps to ROI Nirvana

The CIO is positioned to channel the divine technologies of our time in the name of cost savings and business value. But before they ascend to ROI paradise, there are four sacred tasks they must fulfill, as Emma Byrne proclaims in a post for Forbes.   

Reviewing the Journey

There are four separate levels of cost optimization distinguished by Gartner analysts Jim McGittan and Sanil Solanki. The two lower levels relate to IT cost reduction, while the two upper levels focus on reducing operating costs between the IT and business units. Byrne cautions against sequestering value optimization in a single corner of the organization. Instead, she recommends implementing IT changes on a company-wide basis for consistent and effective ROI:

Communication is key. If your organization is going to maximize the value it makes from its IT spend, then all business functions must understand their roles in the process.

Level 1: Communication: Communication just happens to be the CIO's first step on the journey to ROI nirvana. A clear dialogue must develop between IT and business units, with CIOs stepping up to anticipate incoming business prospects.

Level 2: Gaining Trust: Once communication channels are opened, a sense of trust between the IT and business units should be cultivated to reinforce cultural and division-specific risk responses.

Level 3: Promote Innovation: A culture of learning is preferable to a culture of blame and fear. Every member of the company should be free to fail, learn quickly from their mistakes, innovate, and then repeat.

Level 4: Pinpoint Opportunities: By exploiting the benefits of new technologies and innovations, and then applying them to the organization as a whole, the CIO can optimize change and therefore ascend to the highest plain of ROI. 

Of course, one can’t restructure without initiating a serious paradigm shift for the enterprise, so it is wise to account for both savings and costs when embracing new technologies.

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