If IT Is Everywhere, What Can’t the CIO Do?

Is IT the magic glue that holds the entire organization together and propels it forward? According to SanDisk CIO Ravi Naik, the answer is yes. Writing for Fierce CIO, Robert Bartley examines Naik’s stance and how the CIO can effectively integrate anywhere.

Everything as IT

The evolution of the position of CIO is the result of merging the business and tech realms. At its heart, the CIO provides the essential technology required for the everyday workflow. However, a new revolution is underway and the CIO is finding themselves intertwined with the business side of the company. Naik advocates an organization that blurs the line between business persona and technologist so greatly that the roles become one. Only then, after there is a blending of these two roles, can the CIO fully understand every part.

This change in role responsibility leads to flexibility and utility. A CIO possesses the knowledge about the technology required, and if they sit down with leaders of other departments, they can help assess technological needs and assist in forming a business plan. This collaborative effort ultimately adds value to the company.

At the end of the year, over a four-week process, the leaders at SanDisk sit down and discuss all of the requests made through the year over all the departments. These requests are sorted and incorporated into future, long-term projects. This essentially is like research and development within IT. These internal operations quite often result in possibilities outside the company. The business then becomes better able to focus throughout the year on what is in actuality important and formalize priorities. This ability to plan ahead and see what projects are in the works allows Naik to possess the data so he knows what other projects to pursue.

Other CIOs should take a page from Naik’s playbook and learn to optimize their own IT departments.

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