Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The Monthly “12 CIO Personas” Book Turning: CIOs as “Chief Investment Officer” June 2020

The digital CIOs have to wear different colors of hats and master multiple leadership personas and management roles effortlessly.

The book “12 CIO Personas: The Digital CIO’s Situational Leadership Practices” is the extensive brainstorming and logical content expansion of my book “CIO Master: Unleash the Digital Potential of IT,” to reimagine and reinvent CIO leadership via practicing multitudes of digital influence.

The important thing is that CIOs as the top leadership role must have a strong mindset, a unique personality, and a clear idea of what needs to be done, yet creative enough to not hold the company back from growth. Regardless of which personality they have, digital CIOs need to be both transformational and situational, innovative and tactical, business savvy and technology insightful, communication-effective, and operation-efficient.


   CIOs as “Chief Investment Officer” 

CIOs as Chief Investment Officer: Three Aspects to Unleash IT Enabled Digital Potential All ambitious businesses strive to unlock their business potential. Performance keeps the business lights on, the potential could enable the organization to reach the next level of business growth cycle and maturity. Nowadays, technology is the disruptive force behind digital transformation and information is the gold mine all forward-thinking businesses are digging in, and companies across the industrial sectors claim they are in the information management business. CIOs as “Chief Investment Officer”: How to unleash IT-enabled digital potential?

Demystify IT Investment Puzzle The ambitious companies across the vertical sectors empower their IT because digital IT can drive all sorts of innovations, proactively push ideas forward and leverage technology to accelerate revenue growth, increase business productivity, flexibility and maturity. To keep relevant, IT is also working hard to transform from a cost center to a value center by demystifying the IT investment puzzle and presenting the measurable IT-driven business value.

Three Questions to Unpuzzle IT Investment IT is the core of the business today and must, therefore, be visible and present all the time. IT needs to be considered a line of business, not a cost center. CIOs need to show the value of IT with Return on Investment and tell the business management how well an IT investment repays the company. To improve IT maturity, IT value-based management needs to be driven by concepts like collaborative value or collective advantage and multi-layer ROIs.

CIOs as “Chief Investment Officer”: How to Measure IT Performance and Assess IT Investment Right? IT investment now is a strategic imperative for a forward-looking business to pursue the growth, the company needs to continue to review upon the ROI of existing IT investment, the maturity of IT performance, how well can IT investment unleash the digital potential of the entire business. And how to make an objective IT investment and IT performance assessment via initiating sophisticated questions, setting the right metrics, and measuring them in the right way?

IT ROI Maximization Traditional IT organizations are perceived as the cost center. The digital mantra for IT leaders is to run IT as a business with high ROI. ROI - Return on Investment, is a ratio or a percentage of the dollar amount the company gains from IT investment effort over what it initially spent in simple terms. It tells business management how well an IT investment repays the company. To reinvent IT from a cost center to a value generator, IT leaders have to fine-tune the operational structures & functions and manage a balanced application portfolio to maximize the IT ROI portfolio.

The CIO as “Chief Investment Officer” How to Measure Things Right? IT investment in many organizations is a controversial subject. Statistically, more than two-thirds of technology initiatives don't have a direct measurable effect on the bottom line, and even much less of them can contribute to the top-line business growth. No wonder the business perceives IT as a support function, and even a cost center. To reinvent IT to get digital ready, IT leaders first need a way to define the value to the organization and to do that, it needs to properly understand all elements of value that are translated to the organization, and how all the pieces and parts of the organization are ultimately impacted, for good or bad, by each new initiative. IT leaders should act as “Chief Investment Officer,” understand the pros and cons of different measurements such as "Return On Investment vs. Total Cost Ownership," and know how to play those number games wisely.

Modern organizations have their own sophistication with silo functions, the sea of information, and the pool of talent. The CIO is an inherently cross-functional role, to bridge the business and IT; the data and insight, the business’s today, and tomorrow. The digital CIOs have to wear different personas and master multiple leadership and management roles effortlessly. They need to lead at the strategic level for conducting a complex digital orchestra; they should be handy managers to plumbing information and keep it flow smoothly; they also have to be like diligent gardeners, to build a unique IT landscape via tuning technology, removing waste, nurturing culture, and empowering people.


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