IT can often be a very emotional experience. Don\u2019t believe me? Here\u2019s an example:\nI tend to think I\u2019m a pretty sane guy. But there are several things that never fail to make me lose my mind.\n\nInconsiderate Driving. I\u2019ll be fine, mentally communing with my commute. Suddenly someone will cut me off. Two seconds flat and I\u2019m insane.* And that\u2019s when I\u2019m not even in a hurry.\nFallible Technology. I\u2019ll be just about to hit my day running, ready for a 9 a.m. meeting. 8:59 on the nose and up pops notification that my password has expired. Not cool, man.\n\nBut people lose it. Including me. In order for a CIO\u2019s team to successfully execute IT strategy and support the organization's objectives and goals (driving IT as the business), part of the job involves minimizing impact. That means that before you can revolutionize something new, you need to make sure to keep the lights on.\nWhether at a tech or consumer company \u2013 in California, Texas, or Massachusetts \u2013 I\u2019ve heard the mumblings when the new CIO arrives. \u201cOh, great, I\u2019m sure he\u2019s brilliant. But can he fix the Wi-Fi?\u201d**\nTrue, operations has to be a well-oiled machine; there is never a good time for something to go down. However, as important as the \u201cIT basics\u201d are, simply keeping things running smoothly is no cause for celebration.\nIt\u2019s more than simply keeping the trains running on time. I\u2019ve mentioned before that bi-modal IT is bunk. Teams should never focus solely on one over the other. From a strategic perspective, of course any CIO would want to move away from trains to the fantastical possibility of the hyperloop. As a fellow CIO once shared with me, \u201cDon\u2019t talk strategy when your operations stink; do talk strategy when your operations are fairly good.\u201d\nThis may sound blasphemous. But the key is not to create or indulge in tunnel vision. Know what stage your company is in \u2013 when does the focus need to be on operations; when do you strive for transformation. A CIO\u2019s team needs to earn the right to evolve a transformation. For that, you must look at the company culture. The same formula that works for VMware can\u2019t simply be replicated and work for Dell.\nNobody just wants you to run the trains on time. Keep in mind that what may be your strategically transformative plane today will become the expected timed train tomorrow. As VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger recently noted, our expectations are moving from mind-blowing to mundane at an increasingly rapid pace.\n* Don\u2019t worry, the extent of my road rage is grumbling to myself using colorful street language.\n** I use male pronouns here because this is a direct quote that reached my ears after I joined VMware. Also, our Wi-Fi almost always works.