CIODigital Disruption

10 Mistakes for CIOs to Avoid to Succeed in Digital Transformation

If bad decisions are vampires that sap time and resources away from IT, then it is time to hang up some garlic in the cubicles. Too much is hanging in the balance with digital transformation for CIOs to drop the ball. In an article for TechRepublic, Alison DeNisco Rayome highlights 10 mistakes CIOs must not make:

  1. Spending too much time firefighting
  2. Failing to invest in training
  3. Forgetting about business goals
  4. Not taking security seriously
  5. Only shopping large, well-known vendors
  6. Not watching for vendor lock-in
  7. Failing to spend time with staff-level employees
  8. Turning a blind eye to silos
  9. Relying on legacy technology
  10. Fixating on shiny new toys

Take a Bite out of Problems

Putting out fires in the organization feels good, but it never pushes business forward. So CIOs should instead trust their skilled staff to handle the fires themselves, except when their higher power is required. CIOs’ attention is better spent analyzing business goals and finding the right ways to pair IT goals with them—and then broadcasting the benefits of IT projects back to the business. Some of these projects might involve playing with brand new technologies like blockchain, but then again, a lot of them also will not. CIOs should pursue new technologies when there is valid reason to believe there is a business case; they should not pursue new technologies just because they are new and cool.

Budgets are always limited, but you should do everything you can not to slash funding for training. Training keeps your staff at their best and most knowledgeable, and also motivates them not to leave. For a better way to save money, consider vendor offerings from start-ups, who necessarily price themselves more competitively. But at the same time, never go too far down the rabbit hole with one vendor, lest IT suddenly become dependent upon it.

Another risk for CIOs is that of cybersecurity, since news stories of breaches are just piling up at an increasing rate. CIOs need a cybersecurity strategy now, not later. A good first step is to be spending more time with staff:

CIOs should spend some time working alongside staff-level engineers and developers to gain a better understanding of the problems they face day to day, and how to solve them on a larger scale, [Blake Angove, director of technology recruiting services at LaSalle Network,] said.

“It’s easy to stay focused on your direct reports, but when all heck breaks loose, having more than a passing relationship with the people on the front line is vital to success,” [Scott Youngs, CIO of Key Information Systems,] said. “It can be a challenge in larger organizations, but at least making the effort will pay off.”

For even further thoughts on the mistakes that CIOs must ward against, you can view the original article here:

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