Disruptive CIOs change the conversation

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The most effective CIOs demonstrate leadership by being proactive "Disruptors" who introduce new technologies, workflows and business processes. That was the theme of a roundtable at a previous CIO 100 conference.

Being disruptive in today's environment means moving away from the norms of expected actions and finding new ways to accomplish redefined objectives that don't follow the existing methods.

The roundtable discussion looked at how these disruptors are instrumental in creating new markets, absorbing acquired operations, and establishing differentiation. These areas in particular are well suited and even beg for the kinds of new innovation, different processes, and redefined workflows that a disruptive CIO can bring to the table.

Of the many points that came out of the discussion was the thought of "Parting with our immediate past." This notion seems to be the key concept that defines disruption. The thought of incrementally adjusting existing systems to meet new demands is the definition of compromise. And compromise can mean forgoing the most effective and even elegant solutions that can advance the enterprise. The consumerization and commoditization of many technologies that can be leveraged by integrating them into the IT infrastructure was part of the roundtable discussion.

With so many tools at their disposal, enterprising CIOs have an opportunity and even the obligation to understand the technology landscape beyond the firewall, create new solutions that leverage available resources that have been created and built for purposes other than the typical IT tasks, and integrate relevant products.

Scott Koegler practiced IT as a CIO for 15 years. He also has more than 20 years experience as a technology journalist covering topics ranging from software and services through business strategy.