by CIO Staff

Role of CIO Redeemed Through Business Growth

Jan 01, 20073 mins

Quite a year, 2006. CIOs deserve to be congratulated because 2006 was a year of great accomplishment and, in some ways, redemption.

After the Internet bubble burst, I think many CIOs felt the disappointed eyes of the business upon them, holding them in some way responsible. And when that was followed by the Enron and WorldCom scandals, and the CEO and CFO came knocking on your door to hold you accountable for implementing the controls to ensure compliance, the strategic value of your role was, in effect, being called into question.

But a funny thing happened in 2006. CEOs once again began talking about growth and quickly realized that in order for their companies to innovate at the product and service levels, they needed to engage the CIO and get him entrenched in the business details. Yes indeed, it was rather satisfying this year to hear the great stories you told about not only being part of that conversation but leading the charge.

Which brings us to 2007 and a bit of advice: Don’t blow it. Even as the credibility that CIOs have earned is at an all-time high, don’t forget the recent past. Keep in mind that in order to stay relevant, IT must stay absolutely connected to the business’s goals and objectives even as it drives its growth. I know this sounds basic but it’s a truth that bears keeping in mind, especially as we enter the brave new Web 2.0 world.

All the talk about SOA, virtualization, search, wireless and so on is fantastic, energizing…and somewhat reminiscent of the Bubble Era. Make sure that at the beginning and end of each and every one of these conversations you remind yourself that these initiatives won’t mean a thing unless they help you better serve the customer and the business.

This coming year promises to be a special one for CIOs because the role has never been more important. As technology enables companies to get closer to their customers, as it helps business win the customer’s trust and regard, the CIO will get ever more involved in all of the business’s various disciplines. So, buckle up and get ready for a great ride. Of course, we at CIO very much look forward to joining you on the journey.

And from CIO to all of you, have a happy and healthy New Year!

Michael Friedenberg, President and