CIO Career Coach: Create an IT investment culture

Learn how to turn your IT consumers into IT investors

Welcome back to “CIO Career Coach,” a video series I created with CIO.com and IDG.tv. This season, we’re discussing the skills that top CIOs are developing to be successful in the new era of IT. 

Today’s topic is Creating an IT Investment Culture at your organization, or how to turn your business partners from naïve and begrudging consumers of IT into engaged, enthusiastic IT co-investors. 

For the longest time, I would talk to CIOs who complained that their business partners thought that IT was free. The business would have a need, tell IT all about it and then be relatively oblivious about the true costs of the technology solutions IT provided. 

What’s more, after the implementation, the business partner who requested the solution would fail to look back to determine if the business bang was worth the investment buck. The business’s general lack of understanding of the true costs (and results) of IT, these CIOs found, created major problems in performance, business impact and IT credibility. 

But at the same time, when these same business partners receive a monthly charge-back from the IT organization, they complain that IT costs too much. Because they do not really understand the costs of IT and they are not empowered to direct IT spending, they assume they can get better service from outside vendors—they devalue their own IT organization. 

When it comes to creating an investment management mindset around the IT budget, CIOs agree in theory but get hot and bothered when it comes to applying the theory. They say things like, “When you hand IT investments to P&L leaders, you lose control, and shadow IT gets worse!” or “Run-the-business investments are my responsibility! Why would I involve my business leaders?!” 

Watch this video to see how the foremost CIOs are meeting this formidable leadership challenge.

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