10 Ways to Win Over Your CEO

As a CIO, your ultimate goal is to increase profits and make your CEO happy by making the right technology choices and driving IT innovation. Doing so during a recession can be difficult, especially when there aren’t enough investment dollars to go around. This doesn’t mean that you can’t win over your CEO through other means. In fact, there are several strategies you can follow to help improve your operation and make your CEO just a little happier with you in the process.

However, Diamond Management & Technology Consultants’ third annual Digital IQ survey uncovers some disturbing news that indicates that the role of the CIO is weakening in some enterprises. Diamond surveyed 724 business and technology leaders and found these three key findings:

  • Innovation efforts of three out of four CIOs were focused not on new products or services, but on internal business process or IT improvements 
  • In more than half the companies surveyed, business leaders other than the CIO control at least 30% of the money spent on IT.
  • Firms with the strongest financial performance had strong alignment among the business and IT leadership, as well as strong mobilization and execution capabilities.

Innovative thinking and leadership abilities are the two top attributes wanted in a CIO from the 362 business executives surveyed by Diamond. Both of these attributes rank much higher for business executives than “deep experience in running IT operations.” In other words, the business wants the IT executive to drive growth as well as lead the function. Only slightly more than one in two (55%) of the entire sample views their IT executive as both a business leader and an IT leader. Even worse, the majority of executives surveyed (60%) do not know how much they spend on technology.

According to Diamond’s report, this implies a shortcoming of the IT executive. If the business is asking for broad leadership and growth, the IT executive needs to be willing to step up to that challenge, according to the Diamond Digital IQ survey. The Digital IQ results do, however, show that some CIOs appear to be driving significant business value at their firms. In 77% of the better-performing organizations polled by Diamond, the CEO was a champion of IT’s business value, and the level of integration of business and technology was high. In addition, 68 percent of the top-performing firms have a single roadmap for corporate strategy. In addition, initiative-level roadmaps were in place at four out of five of the top-performing firms. ]

To help CIOs navigate these complex corporate seas, we’ve highlighted 10 can’t-miss strategies for winning over your CEO. Some of these might be easy to achieve, while others might take some time and effort on the part of both you and your staff. All of them are worth considering. With the right strategies and the correct vision, you’ll be sure to increase your value to your company and, especially, to your CEO.

Read on to learn what you can put into action today.

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