How does the business view your role as CIO? The traditional definition is one who manages information to ensure that his or her organization is technologically operational.\nThat\u2019s the key word \u2013 \u201coperational.\u201d Since CIOs are often viewed as those who keep the systems up and running, they are frequently classified in the \u201coperations\u201d category, and not seen as strategic partners.\nThe negative perception of today\u2019s CIO\nThe CIO and his or her team is usually called in after the fact. Once the business unit has made the decision to pursue a new direction (or even worse \u2013 made independent technology investments), IT is then called in to make it work.\nBut why is that? Why doesn\u2019t the business include the CIO to help with key decision making?\nThe reason is simple \u2013 the perception of the CIO and the IT support function is one of disconnect. Typically, the CIO is viewed as \u201cdisconnected\u201d from what the business units are trying to achieve. They are not perceived as true partners, and their opinions are sometimes dismissed as irrelevant. IT can be viewed as a \u201churdle\u201d to overcome, but this could not be further from the truth.\nIt\u2019s 2015. In order for businesses to reach the next level, the role of the CIO must change.\nBeing mindful is something we hear so often these days. Being mindful means to be alert and attentive to the present moment and to be fully engaged in the task at hand.\nBut, how does mindfulness relate to today\u2019s CIO?\nThe mindful CIO must shift his or her mindset. He\/she must function as a fully engaged \u201cconsultant\u201d, getting to the root of his internal \u201cclient\u2019s\u201d information and technology needs and remind business leaders that it is the people and process that are optimized by technology \u2013 not the other way around.\nThe CIO needs to emphasize his\/her ability and desire to help business units manage their stress levels by tackling data overload and helping them organize and harness it. The CIO should be one of the first people called when taking on a new strategic direction, not one of the last.\nAfter all, the full title of a CIO is \u201cChief Information Officer,\u201d so he\/she needs to truly own the mantle of \u201cChief\u201d and help people strategically and cost-effectively manage information.\nThis is not possible unless the CIO has an intimate view of the company\u2019s overarching initiatives and has a seat at the table at a project\u2019s outset. By being involved from the beginning, the opportunity exists for them to demonstrate how technology can help their organization achieve its revenue goals, not just reduce costs and improve daily operations.\n7 Ways for the CIO to be Viewed as a Strategic Partner\nCIOs have been asking me for tips to make 2015 more effective \u2013 and I wanted to share 7 of them with you:\n\nShift how you view the business units. Rather than looking on them as time drains, look at them as opportunities to help achieve the organization\u2019s business initiatives.\nView the executive management team as customers, even if they are internal to the organization. Don\u2019t look at them as employees or colleagues, but as customers to serve.\nBecome an active business partner and present ideas and solutions. Proactively offer constructive feedback and offer multiple suggestions or paths to solve issues.\nTake charge of documentation of data, systems, action items, etc. Remember, as CIO, you are the gatekeeper.\nStandardize IT and business definitions across the organization, so that business units and IT are speaking the same language.\nHelp the business become aware of potential impacts and risks as change occurs. Don\u2019t decide for them, but help them see it. Then jointly decide on the path of direction.\nBe innovative \u2013 is there technology available to make life easier for the people on the front lines of the business? This applies to both internal (employees) and external (customers).\n\nThe way the CIO can change how he\/she is perceived internally is to make a conscious decision to change their attitude and actions. By being more mindful, CIOs can take action to powerfully demonstrate their total worth to the organization as a whole.