One thing is certain: The role of the CIO (or whatever title might be used for the person who leads a company's business–technology strategy) is constantly changing. Economic fluctuations; increased emphasis on outsourcing; a more keen focus on optimizing business processes, people, and technology; increasingly sophisticated supply chains; global competition-the list goes on and on. It's clear that the role requires some person or group that's extremely agile, can think strategically and tactically, and can lead a team through good times and bad.
While many CIOs today often have experience in business disciplines and a strong technology background, it's not often that you find one who has no technology background. There are, of course, exceptions. And InformationWeek's2003 Chief of the Year is not just an exception, but an exceptional leader.
Roy Dunbar has been CIO at the $11 billion pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly for the past four years. Trained as a pharmacist and with plenty of business–management experience, he got the job even though he had no technology training. Just last month, he was promoted to president of intercontinental operations, and he's carrying with him an impressive list of accomplishments that have made IT an integral part of the company's business strategy. But he brings more than business sense to his job. His colleagues use terms like "erudite," "deep thinker," and "philosopher" to describe him. Indeed, some of his personal beliefs and philosophy have surely influenced his effective leadership style and have consistently helped push him out of his comfort zone.
"I thrive when people believe I can do something that is bigger than what you might think," he says. "It's fuel to me."
IT's Reputation: What the Data SaysInformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business really views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. Our results suggest IT leaders should worry less about whether they're getting enough resources and more about the relationships they have with business unit peers.
What The Business Really Thinks Of IT: 3 Hard TruthsThey say perception is reality. If so, many in-house IT departments have reason to worry. InformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. The news isn't great.
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.