Defining Boundaries Between a CIO’s IT and Business Interests
A CIO has one of the hardest jobs in the business. Their primary challenge is to bring everyone’s capabilities and expertise together while providing tight security and effective connectivity. The modern CIO’s priorities focus on producing the IT infrastructure and frameworks to support these working models. Under this construct, employees are empowered to make their own decisions.
But here’s the question: Are CIOs always one step ahead of the business, worrying about making everything the business cares about possible?
Actually, the CIO empowers the business to make its own decisions regarding how to operate by ensuring that the products and services the organization needs are always accessible.
“You now have a framework in which the CIOs have enabled you to make your own decisions,” notes Nigel Reichelt, IBM’s CIO services manager for the U.K. and Ireland.
Rashik Parmar, IBM’s technical executive for Europe, echoes this sentiment.
“It’s about dependable enterprise IT with a consumer front end, providing choice for the business,” he says.
What Makes a CIO Good at Their Job?
“You’ve got to absolutely understand what today needs,” says Reichelt, reflecting on his career. “You’ve also got to understand what tomorrow will bring. You’ve got to think about integration, and you’ve got to think really about how you can drive the employee experience. If you can bring the employee experience plus the integration of the IT that will make that possible, I think those are the two key drivers for me.”
Parmar adds his own perspective to the conversation.
“For me, employee engagement is key,” he says. “I think many of the IT teams out there are fearful because of the transformation of IT. Can they embrace that? Have they got time to build their skills? Have they got time to reimagine themselves as contemporary individuals? I think that’s a big challenge for them. At the same time, the pace of change of technology is so overwhelming, I think. CIOs have got to try and both reimagine the future, understand where technology allows a business to create new things and new outcomes and then also engage the employees on that journey.”
In the end, engaging employees will lead to successful implementation of the three P’s — performance, productivity and predictability.