What Kind of CIO Are You? Operational or Strategic?

What Kind of CIO Are You? Operational or Strategic?

Posted by James Sills onin Leadership/Management

The role of the CIO has never been more important or questioned than it is today. CEOs and Boards turn to CIOs and IT to gain competitive advantage, drive innovation and grow market share. At the same time, a 2013 Harvey Nash US survey found that 40 percent of IT spend now is controlled outside of IT departments.

As the CIO, what are you doing to meet these growing expectations and demands? Are you Operational or Strategic? Are you driving the bus or riding along? The Strategic CIO is an innovation partner, a customer-focused networker and a managed risk taker. This CIO knows and supports the business values of the organization, leveraging data and technology to accomplish the mission.

The Operational CIO is Bits and Bytes, a tech expert who knows infrastructure inside and out. This CIO is more legacy oriented and often struggles with melding emerging digital technologies with increasingly less relevant and outmoded processes.

What can you change as CIO? Consider these four questions:

    • Are you a leader who is strategically leveraging technology for competitive advantage?
    • What is the CEO’s perception of what you do on a daily basis? The fixer of his smart phone?
    • The new buzz word is collaboration: How often do you interact with your business peers?
    • What can you change to move to this paradigm shift? Can you delegate more of the infrastructure work and fire drill issues?

I believe that it is critical at this juncture for CIOs to be more business and collaboratively focused than tech-oriented. Opportunities for CIOs to influence their organizations abound, especially due to the convergence of cloud, mobile and social technologies.

So clear your head of the Bits and Bytes, step out of your office and share your passion for the value of IT. Speak the language of business and lead the discussion of IT strategy. We can do this, but many of us will have to change.

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