The Apparent Connection between CIO's Success and Business Outcomes

Bill Kohler, CIO Americas, International SOS
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Bill Kohler, CIO Americas, International SOS

The role of the CIO today is very much different today compared to that in Y2K. Technology has moved from a ‘luxury or nice to have’ to ‘a necessary part for most business to be successful in 2017.’ CIO’s role has moved from back office to the front office, adding value to both the internal business operations as well as indirectly and directly supporting external clients. The CIO today who truly can make a difference must have a seat in the boardroom with the business. The CIO must be part of the business planning and overall vision and strategy of the company. Without this, you cannot partner with the business and provide value. Today, CIO’s role has become more of a voice that can help drive the company’s vision via technology.

The Importance of IT: Think Differently

This is probably the toughest challenge any CIO faces today. If you have executives (CEO, CFO or CMO) or decision makers that do not see the value in IT, you have to prove it! Take small leaps and wins to show how technology can deliver value by creating revenue streams and delivering efficiencies via automation and providing solutions that solve business problems. Before you do this, you must capture benchmarking and report on the value of IT, measured by statistics or by other accurate metrics. This will allow you to do the same when you complete and deliver the value to show how revenue and/or business process has improved. If you can deliver solutions that bring value to the business, you will quickly win over the naysayers.

  Take small leaps and wins to show how technology can deliver value by creating revenue streams, delivering efficiencies via automation   

Technology Evolves with each Passing Day

• Automation
• Metric-reporting demonstrating value to the business
• Digital Vision
• Big Data and Data Mining
• IoT (Internet of Things)
• Mobility
• Data Privacy & Security
• Data Analytics
• Virtual Workloads (Software Defined Everything)

Any global network has its weak link. Many technologies today fill the gaps of those shortcomings. For example, Riverbed, a WAN Optimization product can help improve the speed of transferring data around your network globally with pedestrian circuits. It can also provide better application performance on selected applications. This could also potentially lower your overall TOC (Total Cost of Ownership). There are many other solutions and tactical efforts you can apply to enhance Enterprise Networking overcome its challenges today.

A Word for the Future CIOs

First, relationships are the key to a CIO’s success. If you do not invest time in building strong relationships with stakeholders and partner with their teams, you will be hard-pressed in getting things done. You have to build relationship upstream as well as downstream—with both the business and your staff to support in creating and delivering solutions.

The other most important attribute you need to have as a CIO is to quickly establish credibility. This is not achieved easily. With your stakeholders and colleagues, you need to demonstrate that you are knowledgeable, transparent, trustworthy, and can execute and deliver. Start with small solutions and projects to show how you can build a business case to take the current business solution or process and apply technology to it to deliver value, revenue or savings. If you can achieve this, the rest will fall in place.

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