As the lines between business and technology continue to blur, organizations are either expecting more from their CIOs or working around them.
Either way, joining an organization as its chief information officer is a daunting prospect. CIOs stand at the intersection of business and technology. They can direct traffic or risk getting run over.
And, with the average tenure of a CIO shorter than other C-suite executives, the pressure for success is all the greater.
Starting off strong helps new CIOs establish themselves as credible C-suite leaders, eager to lead the business toward a digital future.
New CIO’s step into their roles already feeling some pressure:
CIOs tend to have the shortest tenure in the C-suite.
IT spending decisions are increasingly happening outside of the CIO’s control.
CIOs are being asked to lead—or at least enable—the digital revolution while also maintaining existing IT operations. Multi-speed IT is becoming a reality, bringing with it new challenges for managing projects and finding the right skills for the team.
High-performing CIOs start off strong, making some bold moves in the first 90-120 days to gain control of the conversation around their company’s digital aspirations and innovation agenda. Key areas of focus for the early months of a CIO’s tenure should be:
Understanding the impact of digital on every aspect of the business.
Positioning oneself as the architect of innovation.
Embracing the “We Economy” and how to pull various internal and external pieces together into an effective digital ecosystem.
Getting the IT team on board, with the right skills and a solid understanding of the company’s current needs and future direction.
The key to a strong start as a new CIO is to approach the role with an outside-in focus on day one:
First, learn the business—from strategy to results. Understand how digital comes into play and how customers are best served.
Next, benchmark your technology within the industry. Look at how to improve operations while also fueling growth and attracting customers.
Finally, plan a little “me time.” Figure out the expectations for your role, your potential opportunities and challenges, your own aspirations. Then make sure your team is ready to go where you want to lead them.