Friday, December 16, 2005

CIO Clubs

In the last few weeks I attended a 2 CIO meets, one vendor sponsored and the other setup by the top 10 CIOs of Pharmaceutical companies. The theme of discussions typically ended up with a debate on why some CIOs are successful in creating alignment with their business groups and CEO while many continue to struggle.

One of them with over 30 years of experience stated that his peers (other CXOs) avoided him most of the time and rarely granted him an audience to discuss IT projects. His frustration was obvious and was desperate to seek wisdom from others in the room.

Another luminary CIO raised the question of reporting relationships and his view was that if the CIO reports to Finance, not much progress can be made; however if the CIO reported to the CEO, the possibility of gaining mindshare and hopefully traction within the company is a possibility.

It all comes down to the qualities exhibited by the CIO and interactions with his boss (CEO or CFO) and peers. To gain acceptance within the enterprise, the basic requirement is that the CIO understand the business and create empathy within his team with the issues and align the work done by IT with the business goals. In the end it does not matter who the boss is (though it helps to report to the CEO), the CIO can make it to the executive table by demonstrating business acumen and highlighting the value created by the IT team.

No comments:

Post a Comment