5 Ways to Become a CIO 2.0

The furious rate of business and IT change taking place is creating waves of disruption that couldn’t have been imagined only a few years ago. CIOs are at the center of the storm. Here are five things CIOs can do to take their stature—and their organization—to a new and better level:

*Think Strategic. Old school methods and approaches no longer suffice. There’s a need to blend IT into the business fabric of an organization in entirely new and different ways. Although many organizations have begun the march to digital, many more fall short. However, the iceberg has flipped. Today, success hinges on business-driving IT. This means breaking down silos and approaching tech more holistically.

*Act Strategic. A few years ago, cloud computing was viewed with suspicion. Although it’s certainly not suitable for every task and every situation, organizations must move to an IT framework that focuses on value generation. This means thinking of IT as a utility—and tapping hosted software and hardware to keep the lights on. In this way, CIOs and other IT leaders can focus on higher value things such as the IoT, big data, analytics, robotics and AI.

*Lose Your Ego. The ability to adopt a next-generation IT framework is heavily dependent on a CIO ceding power and decision-making to others, including the CMO and CDO. In no way does this diminish the role of the CIO. In fact, it potentially enhances it by elevating the CIO to a more crucial task of orchestrating systems and tying them into the business fabric. There’s also a need to oversee changes to governance models, data frameworks and standards.

*Unleash Innovation. In order to achieve CIO 2.0 status and advance the enterprise, it’s important to construct a framework that supports entrepreneurial/intrapreneurial thinking. This means embracing agile, DevOps, rapid piloting, A/B testing, failure and professional and business growth through knowledge. As a result, there’s a need to place a finger on the pulse of wide-ranging digital tools and technologies and how they ultimately lead to business value.

*Live on the Edge of Disruption. Whether or not you choose to embrace disruption, disruption will take place. It’s vital to look for ways to disrupt processes, workflows and customer interactions through mobility, apps, clouds, the IoT, big data and much more. This requires an outside-in view and possibly the use of an innovation center, a tech lab, cross-functional teams and an eye on what innovation and disruption looks like at other businesses.

Today, CIO stands for much more than chief information officer. Think chief innovation officer, chief intelligence officer and chief integration officer.

Samuel Greengard
Samuel Greengard
Samuel Greengard writes about business, technology and other topics. His book, The Internet of Things (MIT Press) was released in the spring of 2015.

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