Questions (And Answers) That Every CIO Needs To Be Asking

by drjim on September 26, 2012

Image Credit CIO's need to find a way to deal with that big data that is piling up…

CIO's need to find a way to deal with that big data that is piling up…

What kind of CIO would you like to be: reactive or proactive? The definition of information technology tells us that we’d like to the proactive type of CIO. We’d like to sit around thinking about strategic next steps. However, often times life doesn’t work that way: we suddenly get issues thrown our way all the time. Here are two questions that you need to come up with answers for right now in order to prevent yourself from being surprised later on.

Social Media – Is There A Business Model That Makes It Work?

What you need when it comes to social media is a plan. All too often CIOs find themselves playing defense when it comes to the various flavors of social media – using the IT department to try to find out where the company is being discussed and listening to find out if the discussion is positive or negative.

In order to get on top of this wave, CIOs need to be proactive. Your internally based activities are not going to be enough – as your IT workforce becomes younger and younger, you’re going to need to deal with this issue head on.

What appears to work the best is in the IT sector is for you to create a company-wide steering committee. The role of this committee will be to determine what the best practices and the associated risks are with social media for the company. The result of this will be that as the CIO you’ll be able to present the company with a consistent message that everyone will be able to live with.

What To Do About Big Data?

There’s no running from this simple fact: the amount of data that the company has access to and needs to store is growing by leaps and bounds. What this means for the CIO is that you are going to have to solve both the technical and the business aspects of dealing with all of this data.

The first part of solving this problem will require you to define just exactly what data the company both needs to be able to access as well as needs to store. Next, you’re going to have to be able to sort through all of this data in order to be able to present the different parts of the company with the specific data in the specific formats that they require. Finally, you are going to have to learn how all of this data can be used to help the company make better, faster decisions. This means that the IT department is going to have to do more than just store a lot of data!

What All Of This Means For You

One of the best ways to be a good CIO is to find ways to get in front of events before you get surprised by them. The importance of information technology to the company means that in order to make this happen, you’re going to have to come up with answer to key questions before you are faced with them in real life.

Two such questions include trying to determine what business model will allow the company to make the most of the new world of social media and how to handle the arrival of big data. Both of these questions need to be answered sooner rather than later.

Taking the time now to think about these two issues will allow you to create a solution before you have to. None of us do that good of a job thinking while under pressure. Take the time now to answer the questions that will let everyone know that you are a good CIO!

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

Question For You: Do you think that you should work with the CFO if you decide to make changes to the IT department’s business model?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Every once in awhile a new idea comes along that is actually a pretty good idea. The tsunami of data that every company is currently trying to deal with has resulted in CFOs coming to the IT department and asking for help. Since in many cases the CIO works for the CFO, you had better be able to solve this data overload problem and do it quick!

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