by Stephanie Overby and Elana Varon

Best Practices Gleaned from the 2003 State of the CIO Research

Apr 01, 20031 min

To be an effective CIO, you need to do six things:

You must be on the executive team.

You have to engage senior business managers in IT projects.

You must also include users in the same projects.

You need a high-level group to make IT decisions.

You must communicate regularly with end users.

You have to assign IT staff as liaisons to business units.

That’s the conclusion of leading CIOs who participated in our “State of the CIO 2003” survey. From among the more than 500 respondents, CIO editors culled a subgroup that we judged to exemplify best practices for IT executives based on their responses to particular questions. Those best practices CIOs then ranked the actions they deemed most critical to successfully leading IT in their organizations. According to the top-flight CIOs, there are six?and only six?essential practices that CIOs must undertake to be effective in their jobs and ensure that IT is adding maximum value to their organizations.

But it’s one thing to know what you need to do to be successful; it’s another to do it. In interviews, more than a dozen of the best practices CIOs share the techniques that make them successful.