The CIO’s Evolving Role: Technologist to Operations Expert
- Bill Van Winkle
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Move Over Motivational Speakers, There’s (Yet) Another New Duty for CIOs
It’s true, a CIO’s job, by any job description you’ve ever read, focuses on the management of technology. The inventory, assessment, strategic road mapping, subsequent deployment plans and ongoing maintenance/upgrades. These efforts, while important to success, are basic blocking and tackling components, and the only the start point for the role. The real success factor and growth opportunity begins and ends with the coaching, mentoring, developing and relationship building between business partners and staff.
In essence, the CIO’s role has evolved to be both an external and internal leader.
From Order Taker to Trusted Advisor
Working with business partners, at all levels (not just the executives), establishes visibility and deep valuable relationships. Understanding the business strategy, value proposition, associated tactical challenges, and staffing capabilities puts the CIO in the position of trusted advisor /problem solver and replaces the traditional stigma of order taker. Continuous communications and effective issue management develops a culture of transparency, and transparency equals trust. IT efforts and value become clearly apparent. When this occurs, the CIO’s role evolves from one of a technologist to one of an operations expert. This is where my role now firmly sits at ATC.
While this business relationship transformation has been great win, and awarded me a seat at the table, the greatest source of accomplishment and satisfaction has been the development of my IT staff into a cohesive customer centric team. This effort starts with departmental vision development and communication, coaching, mentoring, silo busting and sequent team building. The team I’ve developed frees me up to spend more time on the business front lines. I love that fact that my team members regularly come to me with ideas, solutions, and technology and tools that we should be investigating. This is where the real magic, growth and acceleration happens.
From my experience, the CIO’s role has transformed and continues to transform. The traditional implementation, maintenance and operations of technology no longer defines or insures success.