The Myth of Practical CIO

You can now speak business language. Great! But what about your work? Be under no confusion—that is to use technology to create business value. How well you do that decides how good you are as a CIO.

The Myth of Practical CIO - ITNEXT

The cover story in this issue is directly from the horse’s mouth—15 CIOs and one CDO tell us what it means to be a practical CIO.

The big messages that are coming from them are simple—talk and understand language of business; and balance between responsibilities.

I thought that is the basic expectation from a CIO these days—whether he is a practical CIO or not.

Understanding your business, a bit of industry issues and challenges and the ability to talk in the language of business with clearly defined outcomes is what every CIO is expected to do.

But that is the hygiene; a filter. A filter has a different purpose. Unless you are up to mark in that, it will make it difficult for you to operate. Just 5-6 years back, we had many CIOs who could not do that. So, there was this need for the continuous sermonizing.

Somewhere many CIOs have assumed that it is an end by itself.

No, you did not clear your JEE by scoring 90 plus in English. You needed to score a basic minimum in English to qualify; it is your Physics-Chemistry-Math score that decided your score; your rank.

You can now speak business language. Great! But what about your work? Be under no confusion—that is to use technology to create business value. How well you do that decides how good you are as a CIO.

Today, almost all aspects of business are touched by digital technologies and there’s a competitive advantage when you can do it before others. So, many businesses are proactive in their approach to technology.

Many organizations want to go out and find what new technologies are there and how they can be used to create business value for their business. That is essentially the basis of the Use Case regime. Get an interesting technology and find a use case for it in your business.

It may sound like the anti-thesis of what you have heard till now, but it is really technology first.

A practical CIO must be knowing those technologies well, and how to roll them out in his/her business to impact business metrics. For that, he/she should be proactive within the business too and should not wait for the problem to be defined to him/her.

Understanding of business and talking its languages are not the end of the journey. That is the beginning point. Unless you do that, you do not count.

It is time you tell business what can be done before they ask you.


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