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CIOs strive to build on IT’s business cred for 2021

IT leaders seek to leverage political capital cultivated during the COVID-19 outbreak to further cement IT as business co-creators. Here’s how to focus on what matters most.

CIOs strive to build on IT’s business credibility for 2021
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During the coronavirus pandemic, CIOs gained political capital by fortifying business operations and digitizing services in accordance with social distancing decrees. From accelerated migrations to new collaboration tools to implementing contactless services, IT leaders reprioritized roadmaps to empower employees and serve customers.

Now comes the hard part: building on that newfound clout as the pandemic continues its sprawl in 2021. Because if there is one thing that has repeated itself in IT over time, it’s the CIO’s ascendance to the spotlight upon fulfilling urgent business needs, followed by a swift recession to a supporting role once business returns to normalcy.

“A lot of CIOs step up when they need to, but they also step back when they don’t need to,” Mitch Davis, CIO of Dartmouth College, tells CIO.com. “CIOs forget they have a ‘C’ in front of their name and their job is to own the risk.”

Building on business credibility

When Davis joined Dartmouth three years ago, IT wasn’t exactly empowered to do its work. Fiefdoms abounded as IT staff and business groups viewed each other with mistrust. Davis overhauled IT’s culture to be more collaborative and rebuilt the relationships over time.

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