The New CIO: C Stands For Change - InformationWeek

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The New CIO: C Stands For Change
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Laurianne
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Laurianne,
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10/15/2014 | 2:37:45 PM
Re: The New CIO
@zerox203 is right, some CIOs learned long ago to befriend the CMO. But if you're still playing a game of "Survivor" with the CMO, it's time to think again.
zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
10/15/2014 | 7:30:51 AM
Re: The New CIO
The funny thing is, depending on who you ask, all of this was true five, ten, or even more years ago. Maybe a lot of that has to do with what industry you're in. The idea that IT was tied to directly to business growth (rather than just keeping the lights on) was true for many companies back then - it's just that it's now true for more or less everyone. 'Digital' just means 'how you do business' - period. It's indistinquishable from other parts the business.

All of this can be said for the CIO themselves as well, of course. All it really means is that the CIO now fits into the same size compartment as the CMO or the CFO, so it's really not all that strange. It would be awful weird for someone to say 'we don't really need to bring marketing in on this company-wide project, do we?', wouldn't it? It's more strange that that ever was the case for IT, but you're right that old habits die hard. CIOs already in the hot seat have some unlearning to do, and those coming up should keep a close eye on them to learn from their missteps.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
10/6/2014 | 8:46:00 AM
Re: Bottom up change is difficult
"Part of my position is being an agent of change": Thanks for sharing your insight, @SaneIT. Good way to put it.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
10/6/2014 | 7:44:55 AM
Re: Bottom up change is difficult
You're right that the reporting structure is a bit dated if the CIO or the top level of your IT staff is reporting to the CFO but I think that can be remedied by getting your CFO moving in a more technical direction as well.  I'm at a company that isn't quite big enough for that CIO role and yes I report to the CFO, but it is not the brick wall that I hear other people in similar positions are running in to.  The "consultative" shift is a good way to describe how you can get that relationship moving in the right direction.  The image of the tight fisted CFO who can't see company direction unless it's in ledger form is as outdated as any of the CIO role assumptions that many of us make.  Our CFO understands why I come in with proposed changes and very rarely do I hit a wall.  When I do it's usually a "wait" signal rather than a full stop.  Part of my position is being an agent of change, we are a growing company and we can't do business the same way we did last year or the year before.  If we want to keep up with the growth we have to change and if there is anyone in the company who should understand how quickly things can change and how those changes can affect business processes it should be the CIO or the person filling a similar role.  This means knowing what other people do and why.  I joke that I've shifted from a technical role to a process modeling role over the past year but really it is adjusting processes to mesh with technology changes that are letting us do bigger things.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
10/2/2014 | 6:10:47 PM
Re: Bottom up change is difficult
It is old-school thinking to have the CIO report to the CFO. IT leaders fought this battle in the 90's. If your CIO reports to the CFO that could be a hint that you are not in a company with a digital business mindset doing innovative work. Of course this may vary by vertical industry.

As far as not having a CIO slot at all, it is true some smaller or even midsize companies will have an IT director or a VP-level title person running IT. I hope those people would also find useful advice in this article about how to stand out as an IT leader.

 

 
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
10/2/2014 | 4:12:34 PM
Re: Bottom up change is difficult
I see what you're saying -- a person may be doing a CIO's job, but without that title, they have little clout with other business units. That sounds like a situation with no easy or one-size answer.
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
10/2/2014 | 3:31:45 PM
Re: Bottom up change is difficult
I understand this article is about the CIO role but the overwhelming majority of IT lead positions are not CIOs.  For those organizations having a CIO as part of the executive core reporting to the CEO, this article is a mute subject as they really already understand the change aspect of business technologies thus they have a CIO to mentor same.   For the rest of us its an up hill battle just to be let in the business door.
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
10/2/2014 | 1:41:02 PM
Re: Bottom up change is difficult
Good points by @ddurbin1. I've heard more and more about CIOs reporting to CFOs, which doesn't make a lot of sense if you really want the CIO to be immersed across business units as an agent of change. Reporting to a CFO would stifle a CIO, no?
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
10/2/2014 | 12:05:26 PM
Re: Bottom up change is difficult
Do you think CIO's are common?  Only in the Fortune 50 and not even all of them have one.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
10/2/2014 | 11:55:08 AM
Re: Bottom up change is difficult
Do you think it's common now for CIOs to report to the CFO? 
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