It\u2019s not a new assertion that CIOs occupy a position that affords them vision across the entire enterprise. What is new is how important to the future of business (and to the CIO role) that enterprise-wide perspective is becoming. I see it as the key to unlocking innovation leadership. And I believe it will differentiate CIOs and render them indispensable in the era of business transformation.\nThe CIO\u2019s silo-bridging perspective is like the Force in the Star Wars mythos\u2014an energy field that surrounds and penetrates all, binding the galaxy together. Here are just 10 aspects of our corporate \u201cgalaxy\u201d routinely penetrated by the CIO\u2019s vision:\n1. How work gets done across the enterprise\n2. The conversion path of data into information into knowledge\n3. Processes and workflows that channel and tap into that information\n4. The end-to-end customer experience\n5. System schisms and architectural abysses\n6. Siloed agendas on collision courses\n7. Cumulative risk\n8. Total vendor and consultant footprints\n9. Technology debt \u2014 the accumulating cost of deferred tech upgrades and replacement\n10. Opportunity costs associated with investment decisions\nNo other executive position can claim such a breadth and depth of visibility. The CEO\u2019s vision doesn\u2019t penetrate to the level where work gets done. The CFO only sees the money trail. The chief of operations sees primarily P&L processes. Sales and marketing heads are limited to the principal customer touch points. And HR only knows personnel issues.\nThe CIO\u2019s unique exposure provides unprecedented power to do good, for both the business and technology. CIOs already tap into this force to protect the enterprise from internal and external threats that could destroy it. Some of their most common cross-enterprise conservation or fiduciary responsibilities include:\n\nOversight of IT spend\nEnsuring architecture compatibility and integration\nOversight of total vendor and contractor footprint\nManaging cybersecurity vulnerability profiles\nIntegrated asset management\nManaging business continuity risk profiles\nTechnology capital planning and investment management\nStreamlining\/rationalizing business processes\nEnsuring tech and data-related compliance\nManagement of data landscape and analytics capabilities\nManagement of business solutions development\n\nAnyone questioning the value of IT leaders should consider that if CIOs weren\u2019t doing these things, no one would be.\nIn our era of digital business transformation, these conservation-oriented responsibilities are as essential as ever. But transformational businesses need more than fiduciary leadership. They need people to drive innovation across the organization, bridging the silos. My CIO Executive Council research shows that this is not happening \u2014 CIOs are not taking responsibility for cross-enterprise innovation. This \u201cother side\u201d of the Force is sleeping. It\u2019s time for CIOs to awaken it.