A Practical Approach for IT Governance

Archive for June 2013

Should Old School CIOs Retire?

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At the recent IT Executive Summit, I was the smallest CIO (small defined in terms of IT budgets and resources I manage) in the group.  Most of the CIOs attending this event in Marina Del Rey, California were heavy weights (Fortune 100 firms).  In the past, I would have built an inferiority complex very quickly. Not this time, as many of the panel members opined that the role of the CIO has clearly changed, and the old school is all but obsolete.

Today the CIO is not graded on the size of IT budgets or the size of staff, but on the role and value they provide to the Enterprise.  In fact, CIOs with smaller budgets but delivering value have become the first choice for even larger Enterprises.  Defining value may be difficult, but it was clearly articulated that the role of the CIO was not just to occupy a seat at the Executive Table, but drive the agenda for the Enterprise.  This opportunity for CIOs implies that we cannot just be relying on old-school techniques (Services, Projects, Budgets, etc.), but grow to understand our Enterprise customers, their needs, and how we can build strategies that enhance the value of the Enterprise to the customers it serves.  A different role than what old-school CIOs have played, but there is no option.  Either we CIOs adopt this new opportunity with zeal or simply downgrade ourselves to be Directors of IT. The good news is that there are many CIOs who are evangelizing this message.  Becky Wanta for one, Ken Venner for another.  Look them up!  And give them my regards.

Written by Subbu Murthy

June 30, 2013 at 8:16 am

Posted in Helping CIOs