While drinking my cup of coffee this morning, I sat down to watch a video highlighted over on the Enterprise CIO Forum titled SAIC cyber security: “We eat our own dogfood”. In the video, SAIC’s CEO Walt Haverstein and CIO Charles Beard talk about their approach to security, innovation and the fact that they actually use their own systems and methods internally. These systems are then improved upon and those improvements are rolled out to provide better solutions for their clients.
What I found extremely interesting about this was the CEO’s comment toward the role of the CIO. To paraphrase him:
Charles isn’t just responsible for managing the IT function but also for creating and deploying innovative solutions that can help our clients.
The SAIC CIO isn’t just a techie who’s job is to “keep the lights on”…he’s looked at as someone that should be delivering solutions that can be used in the marketplace to drive revenue. He’s also looked at for driving innovation throughout the organization.
That’s an interesting concept, no?
Not only is the CIO and IT group ‘keeping the lights on’ but they are delivering real-world solutions to real-world problems that they see in their organization – and then helping their clients solve those same problems.
If you want an example of a CIO that exemplifies the “Officer” in Chief Information Officer, Mr. Beard may be a good example. Of course, I can’t really tell anything about the type of leader that he is or how he runs his business, but on the surface, it looks good.
While the video’s purpose was to show how SAIC is ‘eating their own dog food‘ by using the systems and methods that they also sell, a much more important lesson may be how the CIO and IT group are looked at as innovative teams driving real growth and value for the company.
Can you say the same about your IT group? Are you seen as innovative or unimaginative? Are you driving value or just driving people crazy with your processes and procedures?
Jump over and watch the video…good stuff.
Image Credit: 2 of 365 – Dog Food By admitchell08 on flickr