Monday, January 30, 2012

CIO, What’s your Mojo?

The CIO is a strategic role based on the influence made across the organizational boundary.

Modern CIOs could be one of the most sophisticated roles in today’s  hyper-connected, hyper-competitive and hyper-complex world, you may need to wear many colors of hats or take many pairs of shoes, you need to be both transformational and situational, both innovative and tactical, both business savvy and technology insightful, both communication effective and operation efficient. CIO, what’s your Mojo, really?

1. From Controller CIO to Influencer CIO

Chief influence officer is one of the most pertinent personas for CIOs in the 21st century, since technology is ubiquitous in information-explosive age, learning, analytics, dissent, cognitive difference, and diversity., etc are the strategic culture asset need be reinvented and inspired in the new digital era.

With well-established governance process, as influencer and facilitator, not as controller, IT should take advantage of the latest enterprise 2.0 technology & recent BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend to create the atmosphere of innovation and experimenting, to engage employees and delight customers, IT should even become the secret sauce to polish corporate brand through all sorts of digital channels, with entitlement mentality, effective tools, and empowered talents. 

2.  From IT Geek CIO to Change Agent CIO

The CIO is no longer just a chief infrastructure officer to manage an invisible back-office function to keep the light on,  or the geek to speak the IT language that business does not understand.  With emerging cloud-based, agiler, digitized IT backbone, contemporary CIOs should become the change agent to initiate creative destruction, to amplify the human capability, collective wisdom, and collaborative power via extended organizational boundary and business eco-system.

The Change Agent CIO is:

  • Technological Visionary & Whole-Brain Thinker & Leader: CIOs need to have both business acumen and technology skills, as a change agent by being an IT visionary, effective communicator and the innovative enterprise architect, to challenge the old way to think and do the things,  encourage innovation; help integrate and optimize business process, and make continuous improvement.
  • Talent Master: CIOs as change agent can also become the strategic business partner to other business functions, for example, there are too many organizations just have very silo HR systems, processes and practices, still treat talent as human resources with old-fashioned way to recruit, retain, training and rewards, and have not focused on building modern talent capabilities sufficiently. CIOs can act as a talent master, to promote and take advantage of the latest technology such as social/enterprise 2.0 tools by recognizing its huge potential, to revitalize the talent solution by shaking up the current talent pool, exploring the multiple talent pipelines with an open mindset, and decentralizing the workforce with self-management capability.

3. From Firefighter CIO to Strategist CIO

IT is no longer just act as firefighters to fix the problem reactively, by nature of job duty in the digital era, The CIO is a strategic role based on the influence made cross the organizational boundary, from innovation to sustainability, from talent management to cultural transformation. CIOs should be the strategic roles with a practical approach and technical advances.

The CIO’s ability to create fundamental business value is now greater than ever. IT strategy and the “art of the possible” in technology influence the development of business strategy, closing the loop in strategy development. Co-development of strategy by business and IT would reduce risks of surprise disruptions and better involve IT in bolstering competitive advantage.

4. From “Wired” CIO to CIO “in the Cloud”

The traditional hardware driven, “wired up” style of IT infrastructure is shrinking, the latest technologies such as virtualization, cloud, social and mobility reshape the digitized IT backbone and retool the modern working environment.

The power of cloud computing  is to provide the convenience & advantage for the enterprise to proactively deliver the customer-tailored solution with speed & elasticity, to calculate the IT performance/cost more transparently, to transfer the IT investment from CapEx to OpEx. CIO in the cloud, not just for helicopter view of business, it’s your Mojo.

5.  From Cost Center CIO to Value Creator CIO

 In this globalize, digitized and post-recession era, CIO and IT are at the pressure to demonstrate the value of IT, to create the synergy and differentiate capability for the business growth, CIOs need to craft the IT investment portfolio with top leadership team and board’s business agenda, to deliver the strategic value for both today’ execution and  tomorrow’s growth.

With cloud and other digitized technologies as a silver lining, CIOs transform IT department from a cost center into service, integration & innovation center.  In one sentence: value creator CIOs build up the growth-driven, capability-enabled agile enterprise.

6.  From Silo CIO to Bridge CIO

Modern organization is like the mini-city, with its own sophistication: the silo functions, the sea of data, and the pool of talents. CIO is an inherently cross-functional role, to help bridge the business and technology, the data and wisdom, the business and eco-system, the Ying & Yang, and the business’s today & tomorrow.

If you happen to be cross-industrial or cross-cultural, CIO surely becomes even more value-added with global influence, the magic leadership ingredients include passion, vision, openness, clarity, agility, humanity, and humility , etc. IT leaders as diplomat need communicate via business terms, simplistic fashion, essential insight, and spark the win-win situation.

7. From Data Center CIO to Sustainability CIO

Technology has become increasingly important and ubiquitously efficient in our society, however, all the use of pervasive technology comes at the cost, accelerating depletion of earth resource, increase the carbon footprint and accumulating the environmental waste. 

Modern CIOs has the new persona: Chief Sustainability Officer, to make an influence on the environment, also dig the new gold through it and improve business’s bottom line.  The high-performance enterprise should recognize the integrated connection between its supply chain and sustainability, and deliver the next generation of the technologic solution to fill out the gap and optimize the process.

The modern digitized technologies are moving our society into the lower carbon, sustainable economic era, now PEST –Politics, Economy, Society, and Technology are more interwoven than ever, and IT should play the pivotal roles to orchestrate the energy-efficiency, sustainability-savvy, and resource-optimized modern organization.

CIO, You are the Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Influence officer, Chief Integration Officer, Chief Inspiration Officer… What’s you Mojo? Really?


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