Don't rely on luck: What it takes to be a turnaround CIO

Don't rely on luck: What it takes to be a turnaround CIO

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March 17, 2017
Week in Review Green CIO

In this week’s news roundup for IT leaders, we bring you articles on CIOs turning their organizations around, a look at automation in IT, and more.

Luck of the turnaround CIOs

Spinning straw into gold  

St. Patrick’s is a day when people generally rely on superstitions and four-leaf clovers for good luck. But the best CIOs – or turnaround artists, as Huffington Post contributor Vala Afshar calls them – don’t wait to get lucky with technology and leadership wins. Rather, they are constantly reinventing and disrupting themselves and their teams to capitalize on the wealth of technology innovation CIOs are seeing today. Here, Afshar speaks to David Chou of Children’s Mercy Hospital and Joanna Young of BlueLine Associates for insight into their “lucky charms” – or rather, the six things CIOs in new roles should do to turn a bad situation around and set their organizations up for success in the long run.

A real-world example

Want an example of a turn-around in action? In this week, Clint Boulton shares the story of how Day & Zimmermann CIO Sankara "Vishi" Viswanathan succeeded in closing the IT-business gap and the benefits he’s seeing as a result. Boulton writes, “Viswanathan isn’t embracing digital for digital’s sake or to join the cool kids’ table. He says failure to do so could have serious consequences as industries become more digitized. While this isn’t currently a problem for the industries Day & Zimmermann serve — Viswanathan says they have been somewhat slow to evolve to digital — he hopes such moves will inspire customers to follow the company’s example. That would enable the company to create more digital touchpoints and connections with its customers, ideally improving delivery of products and services.”

Man vs. machine – an inflection point?

“In 2017, humans hold the upper hand in their relationship with machines, though recent research suggests that position is eroding,” writes Gary Beach in a Wall Street Journal article. He cites a report that predicts 68 million jobs will be replaced by machines by 2033. Beach goes on to write, “The process of segmenting IT work and integrating it with smart machines will be arduous. It will also frame the narrative of the IT industry for the next 20 years. Malcolm Frank, Benjamin Pring and Paul Roehrig, authors of the new book ‘What to Do When Machines Do Everything,’ claim ‘the rise of the new machine poses a difficult question. Is it a capitalist’s dream, a workers nightmare, or both?’” Beach says this is the question CIOs must answer in the coming years.

More articles for CIOs

Why CIOs make great board directors [Harvard Business Review]

12 podcasts that will make you a better leader [Inc.] (Want more? Here’s our list)

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Carla Rudder is a writer and content manager on The Enterprisers Project.

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