CIOs need to be whole system thinkers & practitionersBy Jean Fagan

The traditional CIO role of managing information, IT systems and cost is being transformed. In an era of technology-enabled innovation, the focus is very much on business process innovation, products and services. Because computing and communications technologies are so specialised, it is difficult for general managers to fully understand. Most managers and senior executives are unaware of what is technologically possible. The CIO is therefore very strongly positioned to play a far greater role in delivering business and strategic system value.

It is, however, up to CIO’s themselves to step up and convince the senior executive team of their capability to act as a strategic business contributor, a business change enabler and a credible IT resource and operations manager.

They will need to influence IT-enabled processes and projects, and, contribute to the effective use of information in business units across the organisation, by developing people, information and IT capabilities. They must also take responsibility for how information is used and protect the integrity and standards of information use within their organisation.

As whole system innovators and thinkers CIOs need to develop:-
• Integrative thinking abilities
• The ability to focus strongly on organisational strategic vision
• A trust that supports building cross functional teams and relationships

In embracing their new innovative capabilities, CIOs will move from:- technology centric to technology empowered business strategies; information management to information intelligence; IT system management to integrated systems; cost management to driving business transformation and accelerating growth (Daniel Burrus, July 2013)

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