Strategic CIO // Executive Insights & Innovation
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8/30/2007
12:59 PM
Stephanie Stahl
Stephanie Stahl
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Coming Soon To Theaters: The Return Of The Spectacular CIO

Not long ago I interviewed Thomas Tull, the chairman and CEO of Legendary Pictures -- the folks who helped bring the blockbuster 300 to movie screens this summer. His challenge for the movie business is nearly identical to a CIO's challenge.

Not long ago I interviewed Thomas Tull, the chairman and CEO of Legendary Pictures -- the folks who helped bring the blockbuster 300 to movie screens this summer. His challenge for the movie business is nearly identical to a CIO's challenge.You may be thinking of the line from 300, "Spartans, tonight we dine in hell," as being identical to what the CIO says after a missed ERP deadline, but no, that's not what I'm suggesting.

Here's how Tull sums things up: Legendary is constantly thinking of ways to produce movies that are more "cost-efficient and more spectacular."

Over the past few weeks I've had a chance to talk to the CIOs of some of the top companies on the InformationWeek 500 list of technology innovators. Of course, I can't divulge their names yet -- you'll have to wait until Sept. 17 for this year's winners to be announced -- but Tull's statement seems right on the mark. These innovative companies still have to worry about costs (ROI on all that fun stuff), but they must also make a spectacular impact on the business.

Don't get me wrong. I don't mean to suggest that all technology projects must be as spectacular in scope as a Hollywood premiere. But the resulting improvements to customer service or the amount of complexity that's reduced or the revenue that's generated needs to be a blockbuster for the CIO to be considered a strategic decision maker in the company.

That kind of success won't come unless there is an open dialogue between the CIO and his or her business-side counterparts -- an obvious trend among the companies at the top of the InformationWeek 500 list.

How often do you make your team's efforts known? Do you highlight their accomplishments? Or do you work for a company that believes the IT team should only show up when there's a problem and the rest of the time they exist as unsung heroes? Hey, there's a movie idea!

Stay tuned for more about the strategies and priorities of the nation's leading business technology innovators!

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