Research on 5 Reasons Why CIOs Fail

The modern-day CIO is under an immense amount of pressure to deliver the latest and greatest in innovation, at faster and faster speeds. Unfortunately, we all know the dour statistics when it comes to IT project success, and the CIO must live up to a lot. In an article for ZDNet, Michael Krigsman explores CIO failures and how to fix them.

CIO failures are especially prevalent when a new CIO steps into their role. Because of this reality, it is especially important for CIOs to establish themselves during the first few months of their job. Tony Gerth and Joe Peppard are two university professors who have researched why it is that CIOs fail. Their research uncovered the top five reasons for derailment:

  1. Misunderstanding the transition
  2. Ambiguity in defining IT success
  3. Ambiguity in role expectations
  4. Poor peer relations
  5. Pushing change at the wrong pace

When a new CIO steps into their role, they are not always made clear as to why the organization has decided to give them this position. The organization needs to be explicit in their hopes. Perhaps they need the CIO to rescue a failing project, or maybe they need a new IT program to begin. What does the organization want from the CIO? Is he or she to be a full strategic partner, or simply to provide technology services? The CIO needs to understand their role in the organization. Likewise, delivering projects “on-time and within budget” are great goals, but they are very ambiguous. CIOs need better measures of outcomes and value to truly be successful.

CIOs have the tendency to work within their bubble and not socialize with their other peers in the company. These outside relationships are still important and must be managed if CIOs are to garner enough support to get new initiatives off the ground. Of course, every company is different, and every CIO should be pushing for a different pace of change. The right pace of change will make all of the difference for an organization.

When issues arise, it is important to do things such as understand the CEO’s vision for IT, build a relationship strategy, or speak the language of the business. The bottom line is that the CIO’s job is a hard one, but with a little hard work they can still do an exceptional job.

You can read the original article here:

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