CIO is a responsibility delegated to someone who has the power and the integrity to shape the technology future of a company. Technology has become the backbone; the most crucial department or function for the successful running of any company in today’s time. Being a CIO is a huge responsibility that calls for 100% efforts and result oriented actions. You have the power but also the pressure to meet goals, build new plans and successfully implement them; while taking the team and the company forward.
When assuming the responsibility of a CIO you need to start from the very beginning. It is important to get a positive head start and really understand the responsibilities on you. Everyone needs time to completely fit into the new shoes, and this time can be challenging and deserves every bit of your efforts. So there’s a simple theory that floats, the first 100 days as a CIO are critical for every day after that. The first 100 days require you to step up, pull your socks and lay a strong foundation that stands firm for a lifetime. It’s the time you really understand your role, responsibilities, company’s needs and expectations, work on building personal relationships, and start building plans for a better future. The first 100 days are also critical to make everyone around you in sync with your goals, vision and working ethics.
So let’s take a look at what to do and expect for the first 100 days of being CIO.
Start from day zero!
Your responsibility as a CIO actually starts even before the first day of being one! Before you assume the role be clear of the expectations and needs. Try to get a clear picture and start planning before you actually step in. I will be stepping into a new role as the CIO for Children’s Mercy Hospital and the strategy thought process started the same day that I have accepted the offer.
Understand and analyze
Get a complete view of the ongoing projects and the exact capability of the business. You cannot analyze future strategies unless you completely understand what’s happening in the present. Clearly state your own expectations after understanding the ones on you. Be clear of the freedom you have to make decisions to avoid future issues. Openly interact with the organization’s leaders to align your vision as one. The motto should be there are no IT projects, only business projects that is aligned with the organization’s objectives.
Build block by block
Immediately begin building relationships. It takes time to build mutual relationships so start immediately. Make an impactful impression by preparing for your meetings with your team and other deciding heads and managers. Allow your team to take you through the current scenario rather than delegating and being an authority. Be open, listen, communicate, interact and always keep communication channels a two-way street. Focus on the issues with regards to other departments and meet people across all levels. Collaboration and communication will be key.
The role of technology
Be thorough in your understanding of the role technology plays in the company. Understand the varying needs, trends, industry standards, requirements and measures in place and those needed. Also understand the risks with regards to technology as a whole. This will be a great time to rebrand the role of technology to ensure that it is aligned with everyone in the organization.
First phase development
Now that you understand the role, start developing plans keeping with the role. These plans include projects, costs and also culture and delivery. Analyze and understand the technical assets in place and develop plans to maximize their use to the advantage. Build internal capabilities but plan the need to bring in partners or outsources to help if and when required.
A CIO is only as effective as his/her team. Make your own team strong and align them to your needs while also aligning to theirs. Tap into the potential of each team member and analyze the needs for change in roles, promotions, new recruits or hires. Build your team from the bottom to the way up!
People will follow your vision only when the results become visible. Try to make some effective and quick results for people to believe in your planning and way forward.
Keep at it!
While the first 100 days are crucial, it is important to continue showing the same passion and enthusiasm even after. Don’t just stop once you think everyone is on board! Continue understanding and analyzing and keep challenging yourself. The healthcare technology sector is dynamic and your planning and working needs to be dynamic too.
So if you are the next CIO, step up! Start your journey immediately and you will reap the rewards for a lifetime. It’s a responsibility given to someone who knows how to make visions and dream dreams that come true. Make sure you are completely ready to take on this new challenge and align yourself to the needs of the company. Congratulations, it’s your time to show your professional skills and leadership qualities!