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Monday, November 19, 2007

Meet the New CIO

I wrote an op-ed piece for sandhill.com on the emerging role of the CIO. Successful CIOs – and their vendors – must understand and embrace the dramatic evolution of the technology leadership role in order to remain a productive part of enterprise management. Globally, the business demands are increasing. Recent surveys show, three out of every five enterprises are looking to expand their market share. Their executives expect the CIO and the IT organization to play a significant role in improving current business processes, controlling enterprise costs and raising workforce performance.

These are the near-term business expectations. Longer term expectations for IT call for building new strategic capabilities that will use information to attract and retain customers and create new market opportunities. Outside the enterprise, an increasingly sophisticated market in outsourced IT services is offering efficient, low-cost enterprise IT operations on demand — and at unimaginably massive scale. Inside the enterprise, the IT organization is applying sourcing decisions to move away from lower-value activities and towards higher-value ones. This is pushing the CIO beyond the traditional role of improving existing business processes to a more strategic role of activities aimed at improving growth, innovation and competitive advantage. Proactive CIOs are looking to grow IT’s contribution by connecting with growth and competitive advantage in substantial ways.

In the course of time, clearly some CIOs may need to shed—partly or wholly—their dominant focus and energy on the supply realm. The call of the age is to relentlessly get better business value from IT and this needs technologically savvy business leaders. Now is the time for CIOs to step up to the role—the challenges are many, but the opportunity has never been more ripe. IT is now becoming clearly relevant to enterprises and is receiving its due share of recognition as in the “dotcom” era. Please read the full article here

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