3 types of CIO, the challenges they face, and more news for IT pros

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CIO News Week In Review

In this week's edition of news for CIOs and IT pros, we highlight research on digital transformation's rocky start, and resources for CIOs new to their roles.

Digital transformation obstacles in 2016

Digital transformation has been a major strategic focus for organizations over the last year, and that's not expected to change in 2016. In fact, research from IDC shows that “two-thirds of CEOs plan to focus on digital transformation strategies for 2016 and that CIOs will be major players in leading every department through this shift.” Digital transformation has reached near buzzword status as business leaders across all industries cite it as their solution for nearly every challenge they are facing – from overcoming aging legacy systems, to moving faster to embrace new technologies, to innovating to stay ahead of digital trends.

But embracing change inside most organizations is not so simple, and the path to transformation is fraught with obstacles. As reported by Joe McKendrick for ZDNet, a survey of 200 IT managers by Business Performance Innovation (BPI) revealed, “Over 70 percent of IT professionals report they have not even begun or are just 'getting started' on the road to IT transformation.” And, “More than 80 percent say their plans provide only general direction, need updating, or don't exist at all.” The article references a lack of communication and collaboration between IT and other business leaders as well as a shortage of skilled IT professionals as reasons for this slow rate of change.

Business leaders' perceptions of IT may also be to blame, as noted by Michael Krigsman. In his article he points out, “IT must improve its image and reputation as a provider of business value.” But that, unfortunately, “Self-loathing in IT seems to be a reality,” based on multiple research studies. He cites four separate studies to underscore why CIOs must work on building trust and establishing valuable partnerships with the business in order for digital transformation to be successful.

Lessons for new CIOs

Given the importance of the CIO role in the face of a new year that will be defined by digital transformation, here are three articles from the week to help new IT leaders find their way.

What type of CIO do you want to be? [ComputerWeekly]: Bill Goodwin outlines three types of CIOs in this article – the traditional CIO, focused on cost-efficiency and infrastructure reliability; the change instigator, who takes the lead on business transformation; and the business co-creator, the driver of business strategy.

3 traps new IT leaders need to avoid [InformationWeek]: Columnist Jonathan Feldman describes the three most common pitfalls that new CIOs and IT leaders can fall into – and how to dodge them. Among his advice, “Don't squander goodwill by sticking to the status quo. But don't make changes in a vacuum, either. Base your changes on candid feedback, and you'll be delighting your customers.”

How tech titans know to pull the plug on projects [TechCrunch]: Tony Scherba highlights the four primary factors that cause IT leaders to abandon a project, and he provides strategies for minimizing the cost of IT experimentation. He also notes, “Not every project is destined for success, but not every failure is a waste.”

More news for IT pros

The CIO's new role: More collaboration and less control [Enterprise Innovation]

Stuart Kippelman named CIO at platform specialty products [Wall Street Journal]

Carla Rudder is a community manager and program manager for The Enterprisers Project. She enjoys bringing new authors into the community and helping them craft articles that showcase their voice and deliver novel, actionable insights for readers.