Connecting Points: Takeaways from CIO Executive Council Workshops

Getting a seat at the executive table is common for CIOs, but even those who are there have to learn how to define their role as business strategist.

Define what IT does by focusing on competitive advantage, ongoing operations, managing risk and reducing cost

Have IT leaders spend time with business leaders to become well-rounded and increase credibility. Do not have a "We will build it, they will come" attitude, or focus metrics on tactical issues over business outcomes. Report IT costs with reference to business solutions.

Recognize reasoning for project approval

Project prioritization and approval are often informed by whether IT helps make or save money, or does what couldn't be done before.

Facilitate executive collaboration

As one of the few business leaders who crosses functional silos, CIOs should facilitate meetings among their C-level peers.

Overcome "chief implementer" role

To be perceived as a planner, not an implementer, CIOs must learn, understand and anticipate the needs of the business.

Articulate results

Deliver on deadline, measure the results and market the role that the CIO and IT had in making the changes or enhancements happen.

Insights collected from participants at the CIO Perspectives Forums in San Francisco (Sept. 21, 2009) and Washington, D.C. (Oct. 21, 2009). Get more information about CIO Perspectives at www.cio.com/executive-programs or register at council.cio.com/perspectives.

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Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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