The New CIO – An Introduction

The New CIO is a weekly article about the challenges facing today’s CIO as well as what can be done to prepare for future challenges.

It’s fitting that my 400th post is my first The New CIO article. I’ve been ruminating on writing a weekly post/article but hadn’t really sat down to plan it out. I think I’ve got a good plan now and am going to jump in and see where it leads.

The New CIO

What do I mean by The New CIO?  The role of Chief Information Officer today is much different than it was just a few years ago and the role in the coming years will change even more.

No longer is the CIO just the main technologist for the organization.  The CIO is a leader who has a strong technology background but also understands the worlds of marketing, finance, social media, sales and everything else an organization does.

The New CIO must be as comfortable talking about building the brand as they are talking bits and bytes.  The New CIO must be able to help craft strategy as well as tactical plans for implementing that strategy.

Strengths of The New CIO

The idea that The New CIO needs to be business savvy isn’t a new one.  People have been screaming about this for years.  The CIO and IT group must get closer to the business. The New CIO must be much more than just a technology person who’s business ‘savvy’ though.  She must be able to sit down and discuss marketing strategy with the marketing group, sales strategy with the sales group and then keep on top of all things technology withing the organization.

The New CIO must understand the new world of technology. Forget the old days of closed systems.  Tomorrow’s systems and platforms will be open and transparent.  The New CIO will need to understand Social Media and its implications to the Enterprise. Enterprise 2.0, 3.0 and beyond will be the future of IT shops and the CIO must be in front of this.

Tomorrow’s organizations need a strong leader in the CIO role to help integrate technology and processes from many different vendors to do many different things.  Gone are the days when a CIO can choose to be fully ‘.NET shop’ or ‘java shop’ and close their mind to all other systems/platforms.

To provide the requisite service to tomorrow’s organization, The New CIO has to be a strong leader, great communicator, excellent thinker and strategist. Above all else, tomorrow’s CIO must understand that their role is to help the organization execute on their strategy. It can no longer be about implementing and managing the ‘cool’ technology..the role of IT is about helping the organization grow.

Who is The New CIO?

The New CIO will come from the people who have successfully integrated technology and business in their career. I think we’ll see people moving into the CIO role who’ve worked in many different areas of the organization but who strong IT backgrounds.   That person with the very broad background will be The New CIO.

What’s Next in this series?

As mentioned, this is first article in a weekly series of articles that I’ll be releasing every Thursday.    Check back next week when I talk about Social Media, The Enterprise and the role of the CIO.

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