15 Oct So you want to be a CIO?
For those who have considered the question: “I want to be a CIO?”, we present views based on our own observations and first hand experiences.
- How to be seen to reduce ICT costs without sacrificing service levels
- How to improve business and ICT relationships and collaboration;
- How to bring a commercial focus to public service ICT;
- How to refresh capability and right-size ICT.
To get started, we outline the retrospective CIO wisdom to serve as food for thought. In doing so, consider what type of CIO you are, or would you want to be? We all have our strengths and weaknesses. And yours, just like ours, mean that you will be better suited to some challenges than others, and will best solve these challenges in your own way. As you ponder this, consider these, the things in our view will never change:
1. You will need dogged determination if you are to succeed as a CIO
We rate ‘dogged determination’ as the number one prerequisite attribute for a CIO. The lyrics: “I get knocked down, but I get up again” come ringing in my ears like a resounding anthem. You have an undeniable duty to take your organisation on a journey. That journey may involve smooth sailing or, more likely, a rough crossing through unchartered waters.
2. Should the Business drive ICT or should ICT drive the business?
Ultimately it’s about the number of repeat orders, the number of referrals and/or the value and volume of sales. It’s about the utilisation of assets, the return on investment and the value of shareholder earnings. In short, it’s not about technology at all. ICT organisations will need to significantly redefine themselves if they are to have relevance. New value propositions need to be devised and new business models need to be created to ensure your organisation is gaining the value from ICT that it will need not only to survive, but to prosper.
4. You’re only as good as the team you lead
As you decide what type of CIO you are going to be, it will be important for you to appoint complementary skills to your team. If you are a big picture conceptual strategic thinker with a mission to transform the business, you will need to include some ‘finisher’ traits with attention to detail. Likewise, too much technological competence and not enough business and customer affinity may seriously hinder stakeholder management and relationships.
Well that’s our starting post in this series. We welcome your thoughts.