A sudden change in priorities could seriously impact the CIO when they unexpectedly find that newly anointed priorities are syphoning off much-needed capital and resources.
Unfortunately, a complex IT infrastructure rollout doesn't usually respond as quickly as the changing mind of a CEO with short vision. So a stable incumbent CEO (and continuity of the strategic business vision) is definitely pivotal to ensuring consistency of sponsorship for the CIO.
It is also prudent for CIOs to resist basing their IT strategy on the personality of the incumbent CEO. In other words, take care not to follow a certain strategic path just because of the influence or prejudices of the CEO -- things could change.
There needs to be an inbuilt degree of flexibility into any IT strategy to compensate for minor business direction changes. Ultimately, a healthy collaboration between the CEO and CIO will usually forge a good, workable business and IT strategy.
Geoff Lazberger worked as a CIO for three separate corporations across investment banking, property development and hospitality. Email comments and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article came out as part of the report on the State of the CIO Survey 2013.
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