Three Cs for CIO Success in the C-Suite

You can’t count on contributions from CIOs who continue to coast counter to a community of change. That’s the alliterative version of what Gaurav Rewari argues in an article for Fierce CIO. A totalized focus on internal operations is no longer the calling of the CIO, who must now juggle numerous responsibilities, from selecting and managing competitive technologies to engaging with customers and business stakeholders. The novel leadership style required by these demands necessitates what Rawari refers to as the three Cs of creativity, correlation, and communication.

The 3 Cs of CIO Success

There’s a stereotype about the inability of technically inclined people to think outside of the tools and objectives at their disposal. But the new CIO must go beyond this cliché, to break down cultural and operational barriers, bringing untapped value to the business and the customer. Rewari suggests bringing at least one new innovation to bear every quarter, what he calls an “agile mentality.”

Critical to this creative approach to problem-solving is a holistic awareness of business and IT systems. Making connections across vast domains of knowledge and expertise will unlock the value businesses seek:

…one higher education customer wanted to integrate data so that they could predict demand relative to student enrollment and faculty levels. By integrating the human resources data, IT services calendar and academic calendar in one central solution, IT leaders were able to easily understand performance relative to current workload, and predict future resource needs.

The concept of communication has been so over-hashed in IT journalism as to lose its inherent meaning. The CIO of today must do more than simply communicate. They are needed to act as a bridge between and across IT and the enterprise. Communication in this case involves much more than just talking or emails. Internally and externally, the CIO must port information through monthly reports, newsletters, articles, podcasts, and even office display screens that exhibit up-to-date metrics.

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