Welcome to my Blog

Friends –

My intent with this blog is to provoke a spirited discussion on topics of importance to CIOs. I’d like to start by suggesting a possibly “final” answer to the question “What is the role of the CIO?” We often hear that the “I” in CIO can stand for Infrastructure, Innovation, Integration, Intelligence, and Information. From a realistic (as contrasted to theoretical) perspective, it seems to me that the “I” in CIO actually stands for all of the alternatives I’ve listed – with emphasis on one or another depending on the prevailing circumstances. Certainly, there is a de facto hierarchy. We all have heard about the fundamental importance of “KTLO” (keep the lights on) applications such as email, payroll, G/L, etc. and we understand that these must work smoothly together to provide to provide consistently reliable and timely information — information built on integration and integration built on infrastructure. This leaves us with Intelligence and Innovation. “Intelligence” is said to be the insights we discover by discerning and making sense of the often not-easy-to-notice trends and correlations in the “haystack” of information – thus discovering the proverbial Needle in a Haystack. But even when we stack “Intelligence” on top of Information on top of Integration on top of Infrastructure, we still haven’t done enough. The highest challenge facing today’s CIOs is executing the first four tiers in the hierarchy in a manner that provides a sustainable platform for the fifth, Innovation – with such Innovation giving a company an enduring IT-based competitive advantage.

Succinctly stated, a CIO must provide all five “I’s” and do so in a manner that is well aligned with the needs and culture of his or her company.

If you agree or disagree, please take a few minutes of your time to give our readers the benefit of your thoughts.


4 thoughts on “Welcome to my Blog

  1. Yes and the CIO embodies the power of the word “AND.” The CIO leads in Infrastructure AND Innovation AND Integration AND Intelligence AND Information. The CIO both implements and incorporates all of these. Truly the successful CIO must be all things to all people.

    • Not so sure about being all things to all people … sounds sort of impossible to me or maybe a road to mediocrity. Some of the very best CIOs that I have known have known what they’re good at and what they’re not so good at … and made sure their team had folks to fill in those “not so good” skill gaps.

  2. This debate will continue for many reasons. One reason, the CIO role continues to evolve with the new technology/solutions and the growing pervasiveness of IT’s impact both inside and outside the enterprise. Second, the need varies from organization to organization based upon other executive leaders, past IT decisions and the financial position of the enterprise.

    The CIO and IT’s role is all about business impact. Another “I”…..IMPACT.

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