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The evolved CIO: What’s your plan as the first port of call when the CEO thinks digital?

Jenny Beresford | Aug. 12, 2016
Let’s be frank – the CEO and CIO in any enterprise participating in the digital economy must be close.

Gartner's annual CIO survey for 2016 analysed responses from 2,944 CIOs, whose organisations represented over US$12 trillion in annual revenue and US$250 billion in IT spend.

We saw a clear trend towards rising digital and innovation leadership in the CIO role, with over 30 percent of respondents already assuming those additional enterprise-wide responsibilities under the IT umbrella.

Over 20 per cent agreed that they were already a 'trusted ally' to their CEO and c-suite colleagues. That's 'close', but is this good enough for a CIO cohort working in a global economy that continues to be uplifted and disrupted by digital levers on a daily basis?

When your CEO reads their morning news, social media feeds and thought-digests, what's your response going to be when they call you at 8am asking 'can we do this?'; 'why can't we do this?'; or 'what are we doing about this?' Are you leading or lagging in the digital zeitgeist?

Or imagine that CEO-CIO scenario turned 360 degrees: as the evolved CIO, you call your trusted ally - the CEO - at 8am with the same questions. That's the future.

So, what's the plan?

You need to have a clear aspirational digital business strategy and a plan to get there. Not necessarily a rigid all-embracing blueprint. The plan is vision led and principle based.

It has just enough detail to flesh out what an aspirational success may look like, provide guidance for executive and operational decisions, allow for flexibility and even wild pivots as you steer towards the vision. The only certainty is that there is little certainty. So the plan should be to steer your people and CEO towards the vision.

Who knows digital? You do. Who knows the global economy? You (should) do.

The morphing and surging of the digital economy is fast and relentless. You need to lead this through ideas. Your job is to turn great ideas into great realities. It starts with you, the evolved CIO.

2017 will see the rise of the CIO in the enterprise value chain: for only the skills and foresight of a talented evolved CIO can ultimately orchestrate the delivery of the CEOs digital vision.

Source: CIO Australia


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