WSJ on Perception of Chief Information Officer

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

One from the Wall Street Journal on 24 May 2010 about the perception of the Chief Information Officer

Section below from this article. As Shelly Lazarus, former CEO of Olgivy & Mather, once suggested to a CIO Conference, “the purpose of technology is to promote the Brand.” Rings true, yet both the lines of business and the IT Departments tend to treat one another as utility consumers and utility providers. Imagine asking the local electric company, “what sort of dishwasher should I purchase?” Except in the corporation, you get the dishwasher selected by IT based upon their perception of utility and form.

1. Does your CIO understand the company’s business strategy and take the lead in determining how technology can help your business achieve its goals?

2. Is your CIO able to think like a senior executive and see the big picture, without getting lost in the details of a problem?

3. Is your CIO an effective communicator, possessing strong questioning, presentation and influence skills?

4. Is your CIO out in front of every major emerging technology, educating senior executives on what each technology does and what it means for the company?

5. Is your CIO skilled at building strong relationships with colleagues at work?

If you answered no to any of these questions, your CIO hasn’t fully developed the broad business understanding, strategic vision and interpersonal skills that it takes to run a company or at least play a bigger role in running one. To acquire or polish those skills, the CIO needs to take part whenever possible in company and other executive-development programs and take the initiative to learn about every aspect of the company’s business by talking to managers from other departments.