Information Technology, The New CIO

Innovation & The CIO – A twitter chat summary #CIOInnovate

twitter-bird-blue-on-whiteI had the pleasure of moderating / hosting a twitter chat yesterday (Tuesday April 30 2013) involving the topic of Innovation & the CIO using the hashtag #CIOInnovate.

The chat was sponsored by Dell and their Chief Innovation Officer Jim Stikeleather (‏@stikeyoda) joined the conversation and provided some excellent insight and feedback on the topic of innovation and the CIO / IT group.

The prepared questions for the chat were:

  • 1. How is your role as CIO evolving? How much of what you do today revolves around the business and innovation?
  • 2. What conversation is the C-suite having around innovation? How does that conversation need to change?
  • 3. When it comes to innovation, how are IT investment decisions made? Is value creation for the customer a driver?
  • 4. How is IT enabling customer value with technology? How are you delivering & keeping up with the tech behind innovation?

The chat was sort of a last minute idea but I think it turned out well.

We had a number of folks join the chat and had some great conversations on the topic of innovation and the role of the IT group and CIO in driving / managing innovation.

In addition to Jim’s input, we had some other great folks join in on the chat including:

Jump over and follow these folks if you don’t already…they are great follows. Apologies for those folks that I missed

As mentioned, the chat was lively and informative with great conversations and insights.

One of the main questions that hit home with me was how deeply CIO’s are involved with innovation.  One question from Bryan Oak stands out in this regard. It is :

#CIOInnovate Q2 I’m not sure that many CIOs are talking Innovation ?

— Bryan Oak (@LIBACAS) April 30, 2013

It was a great question.

Are CIO’s talking about innovation?

I know some that are…and many that aren’t.  Many are trying to just keep things running while others have been able to get ahead of the curve and are looking for ways to help the organization innovate. A few CIO’s that I know are the driving force for innovation within the organization.

While I haven’t exactly pinpointed the ‘one thing’ that makes the difference in IT groups that are operationally focused versus those that are more strategically focus, I do believe one aspect that makes a difference is the ability of the CIO to step away from the ‘operations’ and start focusing on the big picture. But…how does a CIO make that happen? That’s the question of the day….it requires a more strategic ability and capability.  It requires the organization to allow them to focus on providing services rather than being a tool to ‘get things done’.

For the CIO to be involved in innovation, they and the IT Group need to turn themselves into consultants to the business. They’ve got to be the folks that people come to for advice…not just a team of people that implement and manage technology.  The CIO of the future needs to not only be the chief information officer, but the chief innovation officer and chief technology officer with a little bit of chief marketing technology officer rolled into one.  No longer can the CIO sit in the data center and watch bits and bytes – they’ve got to lead the organization into the future with innovative technology and services.

When you get a a chance, check out the #CIOInnovate stream….you’ll see some very smart folks talking about some of the most important topics that CIO’s are facing today.

It was a great hour long chat about some very interesting topics…I’ll be looking for more opportunities to have more of these conversations in the future.

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About Eric D. Brown, D.Sc.

Eric D. Brown, D.Sc. is a data scientist, technology consultant and entrepreneur with an interest in using data and technology to solve problems. When not building cool things, Eric can be found outside with his camera(s) taking photographs of landscapes, nature and wildlife.
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