CIO strategies: Culture change, people skills, and speed

CIO strategies: Culture change, people skills, and speed

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May 05, 2017
CIO News Week In Review

In this week’s news roundup for IT leaders, we bring you articles that offer key pieces of advice for CIOs – from how to bring business acumen into your organization, to the role you play in promoting good online etiquette.

CIO Career Coach: Change the culture in IT [CIO]: In a series from called CIO Career Coach, executive recruiter and author Martha Heller shares a few tips for CIOs to revamp their IT teams from order takers to order shapers. Her quick tips, which include starting a rotational program to train IT staff in various business functions and changing assessment criteria within IT, are backed up by examples from leading CIOs who have successfully brought more business acumen into their IT organizations.

Lack of ‘people’ skills tops CIO firing offenses: Survey [Wall Street Journal]: Bringing the IT organization closer to the business is not only a good strategy for culture change – it could prevent a CIO from getting fired. In fact, a recent study from Korn/Ferry International identified that an “inability to work well with or influence others” was the top reason for CIOs being fired. This is attributed to the role of the CIO “fast expanding beyond IT, spreading across the entire enterprise and into strategic business decisions, according to Korn/Ferry International.”

CIO strategies: How to make your business trust IT again [ZDNet]: So how can tech leaders leverage both IT strategy and business acumen to win over their C-Suite peers and board? Three experts share their perspectives on this issue in ZDNet. For instance, Andrew Marks, former CIO and now UK and Ireland managing director at Accenture Technology Strategy, says, “CIOs need to be confident. They need to say when a new trend is coming, rather than sitting back and being reactive. Their opinions will carry more sway if they're able to demonstrate how an investment in technology will lead to a return. If you can't do that, then you might be in the wrong job.”

In the digital era, CIOs not buying ‘this bimodal crap’ [CIO]: One trend CIOs can’t ignore is the need to go faster in a digital age. Clint Boulton explores how the bimodal IT movement has evolved since it was popularized by Gartner just three years ago. Now, he says, “CIOs are accelerating IT service delivery, pumping out minimally viable products, testing them, collecting feedback and refining them and or squashing them if they fail. Managing IT as a product – getting products out the door as if they are being chased by nimble competitors – has emerged as a popular construct.” For this reason, he says some CIOs are moving past the idea of two modes or two speeds – instead, all change must be fast.

Why online etiquette matters – and why IT leaders should care [Computerworld]: The final piece of advice this week comes via a Q&A with high-tech analyst and consultant Scott Steinberg with Mary K. Pratt in Computerworld. Steinberg explains the important role CIOs play in enforcing proper online communication and social media etiquette across the organization. He points out that this is especially important as digital consumers seek more of a personal connection and tailored online experience. CIOs will “be the backbone of this,” he says. “The CIO is going to be a key driver of innovation, and they’ll help marketing and PR realize all the mediums available to them and supply them with the technology to succeed. CIOs will also be the ones to help them filter and decide on the best tools. You’re going to see marketing and advertising building more things on the fly, so they will want IT to create the tools to let them create things faster.”

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Carla Rudder is a writer and global awareness content manager at Red Hat, working on The Enterprisers Project.

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