When we started The Enterprisers Project seven years ago, we wanted to document how the CIO role was evolving. We aimed to amplify the voices of the CIOs who are taking IT from the back office to the board room. We intended to inspire IT and business leaders by sharing real-world stories from CIOs who were shattering the stereotype that the job title stood for Career Is Over.
It’s been impressive to watch the CIO role rise to prominence over the years. Most recently, we’ve been cheering on the unsung heroes of IT as they keep their organizations operational during the COVID-19 pandemic. We've always known the critical role IT plays in business, but in recent months, many CIOs have eclipsed expectations.
CIOs responding to crisis
In the six months since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic, CIOs and IT leaders have opened up to us, sharing their lessons and wins during this unprecedented time.
Vanguard CIO John Marcante told us about how his IT crew successfully transitioned 95 percent of its workforce to remote working within two weeks, all while providing critical functions to clients “even in the midst of record usage numbers due to markets volatility.”
We heard from Johnson & Johnson CIO Jim Swanson, who was only three months into his job at the world’s largest healthcare company when the COVID-19 outbreak started.
“As CIO, I adopted the following approach: manage the crisis while helping to transform the company. It’s a position I believe many CIOs have found themselves in recently - leading our organizations into new ways of working with all the technology and support that entails, while positioning our companies for what comes next.”
Swanson expressed optimism about the positive change that can come from the pandemic, which is a recurring sentiment we’ve heard from Enterprisers in recent months.
“This is a very important time for the CIO,” says Curt Carver, CIO at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “Organizations need us to step up, shine light on a new, transformational path, and help guide the organization there.”
CIOs everywhere are now playing a critical role in their organizations’ transition into the next normal.
“Leadership is easy when things are going well,” said Julie Cullivan, chief technology and people officer at Foresight Technologies. “The past few months have been a true test of organizations’ leadership and how quickly they’ve been able pivot and adapt.”
“To succeed in this next transition,” Cullivan said, “organizations need to invest in their leadership, fill those cracks, and make them stronger than before.”
We're continuing coverage
You can count on The Enterprisers Project to be there, documenting the lessons for this next phase of IT leadership. Be sure to follow along by subscribing to our newsletter or consider contributing an article with your own lessons.
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