Most CIOs that say that their departments have become “a part of the company’s strategic planning process” are just flat out lying. In reality, CIOs are struggling to change how they are viewed in the company and likewise how everyone who works for them is viewed. Sounds like we all need some guidance here. Current estimates are that only about 20% of firms are doing a good job of aligning their IT shop with the rest of the business.
Patrick Gray is an author and a consultant over at the consulting firm Prevoyance Group. In a recent interview that he had with CIO magazine, Patrick had a number of interesting things to say about the state of CIOs and their tech mangers right now:
- The Opportunity Is NOW!: Believe it or not, this is the time for companies to make IT into an asset instead of a cost center. Up until now, IT has been a fairly stagnant part of the company.
- It’s All About Who You Know: The days of having a CIO that knows everything about every technology and who still likes to sit down and do some coding have officially come to an end. Going forward, it’s going to be all about the relationships that a CIO has within the company — he/she needs to have their finger on the pulse of the company. CIOs will need to be able to spot opportunities that no one else in the company can see and then use the technology and human resources that are available to them in order to capitalize on them.
- It’s All About The Business: The key to making the CIO, the tech managers, and the whole IT department a strategic part of the business is to understand that IT is a part of the business that deals with a specific business area (technology) just like the rest of the business. This means that it needs not only the code jockeys but also the business heads to make the whole thing work.
It turns out that there is an old joke that says that “CIO” stands for “Career Is Over”. In today’s 21st Century business, nobody can afford to have that be reality any more.