5 Suggestions For What Should Be On A CIO’s To-Do List Right Now

by drjim on October 6, 2010

You'll Only Be Able To Accomplish What's On Your CIO List

You’ll Only Be Able To Accomplish What’s On Your CIO List

The time has never been better to make an impact in the success of your company as the CIO. However, there are a lot of different things that can conspire to distract you from tacking the tasks that really need your attention. Here’s a list of 5 items that should be on every CIO’s to-do list:

Information Collection: Inside And Outside

The CIO is in a unique position to be able to both collect and to set up systems to collect feedback from everyone that the company interacts with. This can include both vendors and customers.

Once the information has been collected, it becomes the responsibility of the CIO to make sure that all of the data is processed and transformed into knowledge that is usable by the rest of the company. This knowledge then needs to be distributed in a way that will make sure that it gets into the hands that need to see it.

Evaluating The CIO Based On Business Metrics

In the old world, how good of a job the CIO was doing was based on technology metrics such as the company’s email system staying up. Those types of metrics no longer truly reflect the type of job that a modern CIO is being asked to perform.

Ultimately a CIO should be evaluated based on how well the IT department is supporting the rest of the business in being successful. This should go well beyond simple technology issues and be more focused on things such as maximizing customer value and boosting profits while helping to reduce costs.

Vendor Management

Almost every firm out there has been working hard over the past few years to try to minimize the number of vendors that they are dealing with. That’s been a great idea because it has simplified the task of vendor management while boosting a company’s buying power with the vendors that remain.

However, CIOs need to realize that if they cut back the number of vendors that they are dealing with too far, they may miss out on opportunities to implement innovative product solutions that will provide the company with a competitive advantage.

CIOs should meet with as many vendors as possible and continuously evaluate their product offerings against the company’s strategic goals. When there’s a match more time and effort should be invested to determine how the vendor’s products can be best used by the rest of the company.

Go Mobile

The entire world seems to be going mobile and as CIO you are going to have to be constantly be making evaluations of just exactly where it makes sense for you to add more mobility to your company’s operations. Sometimes this will also require you to say “no” when staff want to start to use the newest & shiniest mobile technology.

Ultimately it’s going to require some hard decisions to be made. Adding mobility needs to complement the company’s overall strategic goals. As always, mobile security has to be one of the key issues that you’ll deal with as the CIO.

Getting Ready For Change

If there is one thing that is constant in IT, it’s change. This means that as the CIO you are going to have to make sure that the entire department is ready to help the company leap out in front of their competitors when economic conditions allow it.

What All Of This Means For You

A CIO’s to-do list always seems to be getting longer. The trick is to make sure that you are spending your time working on the correct things.

We’ve provided you with a list of 5 items that need to be on every CIO’s to-do list. The trick will be to make sure that these tasks line up with the company’s strategic direction.

CIO’s who are able to line the IT department up and support the rest of the company will be doing their job. Those who can check the most things off of their to-do list will be the ones who come out ahead in the end.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Department Leadership Skills™

Question For You: Who do you think a CIO should work with to make sure that IT projects match the company’s strategic goals?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

It turns out that a CIO really doesn’t do all that much. I mean, they don’t do any coding, they don’t debug network problems, and they don’t design next-generation storage solutions. Sorta makes you wonder just exactly they do do? It turns out that most of a CIO’s time is spent doing scary stuff, like managing people…

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