Six Actions of Innovative CIOs

CIOs with a strictly technical mindset are fading away, because business demands more. Everyone is expected to have a head for business these days, at least on some level, and CIOs with strong business understanding are worth their weight in gold. These are the innovators of the IT space. In an article for CIO magazine, Mary K. Pratt discusses six things that innovative CIOs do:

  1. Sunset legacy systems
  2. Develop innovation-focused processes
  3. Reimagine work
  4. Leverage their positions
  5. Build the right talent and culture
  6. Have credibility with their business peers

CIOs Get Going

Upward of 80 percent of organizational resources are spent on maintaining legacy systems, according to Bain. That is an outrageous number that stops innovation dead in its tracks, so CIOs build plans for modernization. They want to build future-ready systems with a more modular architecture and are willing to go through the aches and pains to get there. And in general, CIOs are incorporating more innovation-focused processes, like agile, DevOps, and establishing innovation labs. In turn, they are also looking to partner with other business units to achieve their aims. They are reimagining work as a more inherently collaborative effort.

CIOs are better enabled to find chances to collaborate with other departments than maybe anyone else in the C-suite, because technology touches upon all aspects of business. CIOs should take advantage of this fact to get involved in as many strategic conversations as possible, offering up guidance on how technology can support initiatives. Having credibility with the other executives is important:

O&A and Babson College developed the IT Maturity Curve following a year-long research study about IT leadership. This maturity curve puts CIOs into four groups, with the least mature identified as IT supplier and the most mature labeled as innovative anticipator.

[Larry Wolff, president and COO of Ouellette & Associates (O&A) Consulting] says one element that all innovative anticipator CIOs have in common is credibility with their business-side peers. He explains that the other chief executives, along with their direct reports and in turn their staffers, know that IT operates efficiently and effectively and thus they can trust IT to deliver on the high-stakes items.

For additional insights, you can view the original article here:

John Friscia

John Friscia was the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success from 2015 through 2018. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and grew in every possible way in his time there. John graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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