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What CEOs Want from CIOs

By creichert | February 4, 2009

This article from Information week, stresses the importance of conserving cash, which is reflective obviously of the current economy.  Conserving cash can be done by extending the use of old platforms and applications.  CEOs are also want better interactions with customers, more focus on keeping current customers happy, and they would like for CIOs to take advantage of the opportunity to be thought leaders.

Topics: CIO Performance Gap: A CIO vs. CEOs Perspective | 1 Comment »

One Response to “What CEOs Want from CIOs”

  1. Mark Thiele on April 12th, 2010 12:14 pm

    I’ve written several articles on the role of the CIO and I believe the “Performance Gap” is a reflection of another issue. I believe that the primary issue with the CIO role in general is the lack of understanding of the complexity and importance of the position. This lack of understanding is suffered by both the CIO and the Exec team. The way I see it, the CIO role is very similar to a CEO role, just on a smaller scale. If as a CIO you understand the primary function of a CEO, then you are more likely to be a strong CIO. Conversely, if you’re a CEO and you look for a CIO that can think, lead, vision, and strategically act like a CEO, you’re on the right track. The majority of poorly run IT organizations show similar characteristics, lack of overall vision to match the enterprise. This lack of a common vision leads to the establishment over time of silo’d application groups who are independently solving an individual group’s (Marketing, Support, etc) problems. Solving a group’s problem without determining the best way to leverage the application for the entire enterprise leads to wasted effort and many solutions where maybe only one was needed.
    Key things to remember here from a CEO’s perspective:
    – Include the CIO in ALL exec functions
    – Expect your CIO to act as an enterprise exec, not an IT exec (must still have a solid IT background)
    – Hire a CIO with the same due diligence that the board used to hire you
    – Solicit the CIO to help cross boundaries of functions to ensure a common vision for enterprise IT deliverables can be communicated to the rest of IT
    Key things to remember from a CIO’s perspective:
    – You’re not a technologist first, but you must be strong enough in technology to deal with the highest level partners and to intelligently argue direction with direct staff
    – Lead by example. The CEO’s job is to help set and communicate company vision, and to enable his/her team to get their job done, the CIO must do the same. The CEO also has significant customer communication requirements, you’re role is no different.
    – Don’t hesitate to use your team. You don’t have to have all the ideas, you just have to show that you can effectively implement them.
    – All of our team (VPs to Helpdesk) need to be on the same page. If a customer stops anyone from IT in the hall and asks “what’s IT working on”, they should all have the same answer.

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