Strategic CIO // IT Strategy
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6/5/2014
03:20 PM
Susan Nunziata
Susan Nunziata
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The CIO's 2 New BFFs

Now that business is digital at its core, it's time to buddy up with the CDO and CMO.

make two important new friends in the business: the chief digital officer and the chief marketing officer.

If you're the CIO of a company with a CDO, invite that person out to lunch as soon as you're done reading this (assuming that you're not already lunch buddies). If your company doesn't have someone in the CDO role, do all you can to lead the digital charge before it appoints someone else. Tanya Cordrey, CDO for London-based Guardian News & Media, participated in the CIO Symposium session with Westerman. She said her role on the executive team is meant to be "that little bit of grit in the oyster to make sure we never lose our emphasis on moving forward."

According to Cordrey:

Our approach to digital transformation was dropping a pebble in a pond, and that pebble was the formation of my team. We are building a world-class digital team that would not look out of place at Google or in Silicon Valley. Building out those disciplines was a very clear signal to the rest of the organization that we were going to move forward, and that we had a critical mass of people who were going to drive that transformation forward. Everybody who works at the Guardian has to be digital.

F. Thaddeus Arroyo, CIO of AT&T Services, who also spoke during the session, got out ahead of the CDO trend. The corporate-wide CDO at AT&T Services reports to him. If your CDO reports directly to the CEO, it's even more critical that you become allies.

Outside of IT, the most digital savvy part of your organization is likely your marketing department. Its members have been working on customer-facing digital initiatives for years, either with or without the CIO's involvement.

Advising CIOs to befriend the CMO isn’t a new concept, but it's easier said than done. Plenty of cultural barriers remain. The two organizations are still jostling for technology budgets.

Arroyo takes a different approach to the budget conundrum. "I like to look at every budget as a digital budget," he said. "As you're using digital technologies to enhance the top line, you can afford to drive incremental investment. As you make those cases, and you're facing disruption in your industry, many of your technology budgets will continue to grow as long as you can prove business value."

Added Westerman: "The great CIOs are not only about spending IT money well. They're good at helping the business spend money well. The better you get at managing technology, the more appetite the organization has for spending on technology, because they see the results."

Who are your best friends at your enterprise? Have you faced hurdles in working with the CMO and marketing department? Does your company have a CDO, or do you think it needs one? Tell us in the comments section below.

Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators. Read our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue today.

Susan Nunziata works closely with the site's content team and contributors to guide topics, direct strategies, and pursue new ideas, all in the interest of sharing practicable insights with our community. Nunziata was most recently Director of Editorial for ... View Full Bio
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Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
6/28/2014 | 3:00:56 PM
Re: CDO turf
SaneIT,

Thats the right way to look at this critical issue.

Fact is no one is irreplaceable in an organization;otherwise they would never go elsewhere.

A CIO's job is not to micro-manage but rather Delegate responsibility effectively to employees so that they can be freed up mentally for more aggressive Strategizing as well as Research on what works and what does'nt for today's Enterprise.

You are doing it the right way.

Regards

Ashish.
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
6/28/2014 | 2:53:26 PM
Re: CDO turf
Waqas,

Not just HR but also the Senior Management in the Company (and especially the Founders) need to have  a succession Management strategy in place.

Who's your No.2 who will step out to the plate if the No.1 Gets incapacitated for any reason?

Similarly,What happens if your No.2 suddenly decides to leave the company?You have to not just train a fresh No.2 but also be prepared for him/her to make mistakes as they learn the ropes.

Its not easy but it has to be done effectively enough and Senior Management should lead the charge here.

Regards

Ashish.

 
WaqasAltaf
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WaqasAltaf,
User Rank: Ninja
6/28/2014 | 2:43:18 AM
Re: CDO turf
SaneIT

"I need my team to understand what I do and why I do it so that if I move up and out that things will continue down the right path and they won't feel lost."

It is human nature to get insecure and one has to be very confident about his future prospects to make a good successor of his role. This is where HR must also play the role.
WaqasAltaf
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WaqasAltaf,
User Rank: Ninja
6/28/2014 | 2:39:37 AM
Re: CDO turf
Susan, true. That is where specialized roles such as that of CDO creep in. If the company is serious about moving in the right direction, it must have grasp on all factors that determine that direction. Specialized roles can create a foundation from where the analysis becomes a lot easier.
SaneIT
IW Pick
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
6/26/2014 | 7:19:58 AM
Re: CDO turf
I think that I'll be able to keep the same approach even if I do move into a C level position.  I do have several people around me who have warned me not to "be like one of them" as a way of telling me that they feel like some of the C levels they work with are not as easy going as I am or as helpful.  Much of what I hear is that they expect me to become more of a micro manager because that is what they see at that level and they are afraid that I'll lose the collaborative nature that I have.  My take on my position in the company is that if I'm not replaceable then I can't be promoted out of the position either.  I need my team to understand what I do and why I do it so that if I move up and out that things will continue down the right path and they won't feel lost.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
6/25/2014 | 7:26:20 PM
Re: CDO turf
@Susan: Thanks for the link. Unfortunately for TIm Cook he is following a legend who died young. Apple was very much tied to Jobs and nobody, however great a CEO they are, will never change that. Jobs also had his finger on the pulse of society and made products that really appealed to people. Cook is probably more of an administrator than a visionary which also does not help, especially since no earth shattering products have come out on his watch yet.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/25/2014 | 4:06:12 PM
Re: Amazing
@SachinEE: Eventually, many copmanies will be forced to change their approach and culture toward this digital-forward mindset. And that is, truly, what it is at the core: A shift in corporate mindset. It's good to see, in the examples you cite, industries that have sometimes been viewed as being behind the curve when it comes to using technology are now actually embracing it for the betterment of the organizaitons and the people they serve (particulary healthcare and government). While there will be missteps along the way, any step forward is a sign of progress.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/25/2014 | 4:03:17 PM
Re: CDO turf
@tjgkg: Sadly in most organizations that is the case, and those who do get things accomplished oftentimes get overlooked or not credited with it. This is also, in part, due to the fact that our business culture in the U.S. tends to reward the extrovert over the introvert. I'm reading a fascinating book on this topic right now, called "Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking." I highly recommend! It discusses the challenges that introverts face in climbing the corporate ladder, among many other eye-opening topics related to what our business culture is all about. All we need to do is look at the flaming that Apple's Tim Cook is getting to see just how difficult it is to not fit the mold in today's corporate environment.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/25/2014 | 3:59:06 PM
Re: CDO turf
@WaqasAtlaf: lack of persistence is spot on, and I would add that with so many shifting priorities in an organization, it becomes very difficult for many people to keep their eyes on the endgame and fully execute.

That's certainly been my experience, when I look back at great ideas that never saw the light of day. More often than not, it was because I had too many conflicting priorities and immediate, hair-on-fire deadlines, and so anything that was not crucial got pushed to the back burner, or pushed off the stove entirely.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/25/2014 | 3:56:11 PM
Re: CDO turf
@H-H: Ah, such a good question! The best that a person can do, I think, is to try not to take anything personally, understand as best as possible what is motivating all the players, and be honest and forthcoming with all parties. It may end up backfiring on you, but at least you can go home and look yourself in the mirror at night! And, if the political situation in the organization is truly  toxic, I would suggest finding another place to work if at all possible.
<<   <   Page 6 / 11   >   >>
Transformative CIOs Organize for Success
Transformative CIOs Organize for Success
Trying to meet today’s business technology needs with yesterday’s IT organizational structure is like driving a Model T at the Indy 500. Time for a reset.
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