Go Live on Day One: The Path to Success for a New CIO

Leverage technology and innovation, deliver new products and services fast, and patch up every problem in the existing framework. If anybody can accomplish all of that, it is the CIO. And luckily for them, Accenture has released a new whitepaper written by Diana Bersohn that outlines the path to CIO success in the new digital landscape.

Digital Master

Accenture’s research shows that new CIOs only have about 90-120 days to make their mark, or else they risk losing their jobs much sooner. Yet the risk is worth it, because CIOs uniquely have the ability to read between the “blurred lines” of information shared between myriad devices to provide actionable business insights. To that end, CIOs must understand how digital demand affects each area of the business, especially by examining company strategy and finance. They cannot afford to be afraid to ask as many useful questions as pop into their heads, and when they really understand their business, they should then look abroad to the industry as a whole—even other industries—to build a complete picture.

Innovation Architect

Bersohn writes that CIOs can become “innovation architects” by engaging top stakeholders for their deepest wants and needs. Using these insights to create disruptive short-term plans that generate quick wins is bound to be one of the more impressive ways for new CIOs to begin their tenure. Then they just have to keep up that momentum, which should not be so difficult a few months in, when they really have gotten a hold on what good communication and collaboration should look like.

In terms of overall vision, the white paper stresses the need to shift from a “me” economy to a “we” economy, where digital business, customers, and networks all unite to create brand new types of outcomes. CIOs can embrace this “we” concept by looking across the business to find digital allies, while at the same time proving to these allies that they are fluent in both “digital” and “regular human-being English.” Nobody ever runs out of things to say about the importance of communication, and so on this subject, the white paper states:

The incoming CIO has to be a superb communicator and exercise that skill all the time. The very best will be able to listen astutely and convey complex digital concepts with passion, using an orator’s tools to energize and mobilize an array of stakeholders. Leading CIOs will establish two-way communication between IT and the business that focuses on powerful stretch goals without over-promising or over-committing.

The last issue addressed by Bersohn is how to build an IT dream team. CIOs should quickly develop a feel for which people are eager to try out a new IT program, and which people could probably be persuaded, and work on incorporating these people into their plans. All the same, CIOs need to be willing to take a risk on some unusual choices who might bring a wider perspective to the conversation. And lastly, since one cannot count on the same talent staying at the same job forever, CIOs should scour within their networks for the next young hotshot.

But hey, once the CIO does all that, the rest is easy street. No problem. You can view the white paper here:

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