How (and why) to take the time to network

Networking with peers is critical for understanding what others are doing, what is working and what isn’t working.

social network of simple figures and their connections

The importance of technology within organizations has done many things; most of all, it has made a range of companies aware of the power and importance that a chief information officer (CIO) or equivalent has in an organization. It’s for this reason that IT leaders are bombarded with requests to attend an event, sign-up to a webinar or register for whitepapers and analyst insights.

But, despite the growing number of ways that IT leaders have to gain knowledge and insight that can help them in their roles, there is one way which CIOs, chief digital officers, chief technology officers and others all continue to say is helpful – and perhaps most beneficial to them – and that is the peer network.

The most obvious way that the peer network is used as an advantage, is, as Laura Meyer, CIO of publishing company HarperCollins states, to understand what others are doing, what is working and what isn’t working.

“It’s important to be connected and have a peer network; talking to people about what they’re doing [in their organizations] is a great way to find information,” she says.

Cindy Fedell, CIO of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, part of the UK’s NHS network, suggests that this gives the IT leader in question the ability to assess where the organization stands in regards to IT maturity in a benchmarking kind of approach.

Often, those new to the role of being a c-level executive that has the final say in IT purchasing decisions look for inspiration from people who have been CIOs or CDOs for a number of years.

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