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Bridging the gap: 5 ways CIOs can translate IT for the C-Suite

Mao Gen Foo, Vice President, Asia, OpenText | Oct. 14, 2016
What should the CIO prioritise in order to ensure technology continues to deliver, despite the ongoing evolution of the C-suite relationships?

3. Promote IT as a business enabler

The work undertaken by the CIO's team needs to be seen as a means to an end, not the end in itself.  CEOs and CFOs don't really want to spend money on servers and software, but they probably understand that they have to in order to keep the business operating. The job of the CIO is to explain that IT isn't just about keeping the lights on for a business, it's about driving efficiencies, adding customer value, streamlining processes and managing the data that makes an organisation work. Whilst the CEO might not care about how a company's website is developed, they certainly care if IT can help the website to drive more revenue. The CIO has to make clear the relationship between technology and business objectives.

4. Team up with other CxOs

Before IT's strength as a business enabler can be conveyed, it helps to gain as deep an understanding of the business as possible. For example, gaining valuable insights by talking regularly with the CFO, who's focused on the lifeblood of the business: money. Learn better what your company's balance sheet looks like and which considerations count the most in justifying new spending - this will put initiatives around digital transformation on a much firmer footing when discussions around budget arise.

5. Focus on IT's value

CEO's, CFO and CMOs, and anyone else in the C-Suite, don't really care about IT. What they do care about is how their IT department can enable new, better and faster services for customers, or how IT can help the company cut costs, increase efficiencies and grow the business. CIOs have to focus on how technology can create value for the business, with less focus on how the IT budget is spent.


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