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Aspiring CIOs: Always be planning
Alphanumeric CIO Jay Baucom discusses his career path and shares advice for future CIOs. Hint: Your plans will never be done
[Editor's note: As part of our ongoing series in which IT leaders offer advice to the next generation of CIOs...]
My first CIO job:
Prior to Alphanumeric, I was hired to serve as Chief Information Officer for the North Carolina Community College System.
I began my career in IT in 1989. I have progressive experience in IT Operations Management having worked with large system integrators on large-scale ERP implementation projects in both the commercial and public sector space. Prior to joining NCCCS as CIO, I worked for Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. (ACS) out of Dallas, Texas for eight years on large public sector state contracts.
What my first CIO job taught me:
The biggest takeaway was you have to always be planning ahead. This applies to your staff as well as technology. You need to always be thinking of how to bring new services to your end users through innovation and how innovation impacts the human capital which is your most important asset. Continuously training staff to position them for the new technologies will ensure low turnover and a progressive environment.
My advice for aspiring CIOs:
Aspiring IT leaders really need to understand how technology and the consumption of data is changing at light speed. The digital transformation is real and we all need to be investing in it, both from a technology standpoint and a personal development standpoint. IT leaders need to plan for how digital transformation will impact their organization and develop a 18-, 24-, and 36-month technology plan.
Just as important though, is the need to develop a training plan to ensure your staff is trained and positioned to ride the digital transformation curve as well.
Never take anything for granted. Always surround yourself with talented people that you trust. I believe that leaders that depend and accept the input of multiple sources on their team are more successful and far more able to adapt to changing business conditions.
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