As excited as we all get about the latest trends in tech \u2013 iOT, big data, cloud, etc. \u2013 our peers may not share this enthusiasm when it comes to allocating cash to implement them. But as the CIO, your job is not only to keep the business running \u2013 it\u2019s also to innovate; to show the C-suite, the board, and the marketplace ways of running a business, developing products, and providing insight they didn\u2019t know were possible.\nHow can you, as the CIO, influence these decisions to get the cash and influence you need to do things that will actually move the needle?\nThere are three basic phases of getting buy-in:\n\nBuild credibility\nBuild the case\nDemonstrate success\n\n1. Build credibility\nKeep the business running smoothly and efficiently\nFor better or for worse many still believe the CIO\u2019s primary responsibility is to keep the business running efficiently, at minimal cost. This may or may not be true based on your business, but we need to acknowledge this is likely the viewpoint of at least some of the people you need as allies.\nMake no mistake, 90% of your credibility is effective execution.\nTo build allies across the leadership team, you need to show them you\u2019re interested in their priorities. Make sure your IT operations house is in order. For most companies this means committing to security, limiting downtime on critical revenue-focused systems, and keeping your user satisfaction rates reasonably high. If you already have some large projects running, be sure to maintain strong leadership and oversight at the top, as I wrote about here.\n2. Build the case\nDevelop a strategic technology roadmap and, for most projects, a business case\nI wrote about this recently here. Suffice it to say, I believe the strategic roadmap can and should be your most powerful ally.\nThe concept of a business case is sometimes interpreted as an extensive exercise to estimate the benefits and costs in dollars and demonstrate definite monetary benefit for a project. For some projects this is appropriate and you should spend time and money building a strong quantitative business case.\nNot every project is a good candidate for this type of business case but that doesn\u2019t mean you should eliminate this step altogether. Qualitative business cases \u2013 a clear narrative description of expected benefits \u2013 can also be powerful. To maximize the effectiveness of this type of case, the key is to be specific about cause and effect. For example: \u201cThis tool will increase the effectiveness of our salespeople by enabling them to access all opportunity data from the field. This will be done with a set of apps that is as intuitive as those they use in their personal lives.\u201d Quantifying this type of benefit would be mostly guesswork but explaining the benefits in enough detail will still build your project\u2019s case.\nUltimately, expect to track each benefit you include in the project's justification so be careful what you\u2019re willing to assign dollar values to.\nHighlight benefits, but also address risk and how to control it\nIf you were to use traditional sales tactics you would focus on all of the great things a new solution can offer and downplay any areas you were worried about. When selling internally, however, you need to treat the potential downsides with a great deal of respect. At least some of your decision makers are prioritizing risk management.\nOpenly addressing the risks will demonstrate that you don\u2019t see the solution as a panacea, that you acknowledge and are prepared to work hard to avoid negative consequences, and that you value the perspective of your risk-focused peers.\nAvoid the \u201cBlackbox\u201d explanation\nWe all espouse the benefits of \u201ccloud,\u201d \u201cthe Internet of Things,\u201d \u201cvirtualization\u201d and the other latest trends in technology. The CIO-centered thought-sphere is full of stories about the transformational potential of these technologies and we integrate their names into our every-day language quickly.\nThe challenge for us is to not let our people, our vendors, or ourselves get too attached to the terminology and let the names themselves become the solutions. We\u2019ve all done this - analytics will fix our understanding of customer purchasing behavior; SOA \u2013 that will solve our file transfer issues; cloud will help us avoid these costly upgrades.\nThe reality is the name of the technology does not terribly matter and it risks painting the solutions as purely IT-owned. What matters is the problem you\u2019re trying to solve, specifically how a new tool will help solve it, and how the business needs to support it. It\u2019s a subtle shift, but an important one.\n3. Demonstrate success\nTest, pilot, iterate\nPiloting new solutions is one of the best ways to obtain buy-in. While strong testing will generate important feedback it\u2019s nearly impossible to account for every important use case prior to deploying the real solution. Choose an area of the business where you have strong allies, great executive buy-in, and ideally a flexible and adept user base, and pilot your solution for some time before rolling it out widely.\nOne of the best outcomes of pilots is they can get the rest of the organization excited about what\u2019s coming. Additionally, a pilot will build the solution\u2019s credentials with the rest of the business, demonstrate a low tolerance for risk, and let you and your organization learn enough to be even more successful for subsequent rollouts.\nIs it that simple?\nSadly, no. Ultimately, success will breed success. If you deliver one or two projects that are seen as both innovative and successful it will be much easier to achieve buy-in on the next one. But following these tips will make getting the first one done easier, and it will credential you personally as someone who can take important strategic risks and make them pay off for the company.