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A CIO’s New Year’s resolution: Develop your digital executive presence

A CIO’s New Year’s resolution: Develop your digital executive presence

Gartner has tips for CIOs who suffer from an ‘image problem’.

It is time to act to develop your digital executive presence, note Gartner analysts Mark Raskino and John Mahoney in their CIO New Year's Resolutions 2015 report.

This year, CIOs are expected to drive more digital business innovation, they write. For this to happen, CIOs must gradually elevate their role and that of the IT organisation to reposition themselves more as an agenda setter.

Most CIOs suffer from an image problem in the perception of the world at large and of the rest of their executive leadership colleagues. Although very often undeserved, this image problem hampers the CIO's credibility and influence at the most senior levels, the analysts note.

A compelling personal presence is a prerequisite for effective executive advancement in general, and for the role of digital enterprise leader in particular, they state.

Read more: What Gartner's Bimodal IT Model Means to Enterprise CIOs

Declare where you stand on digital, and use this statement as a direction for IT and as a set of values by which to navigate your personal development and your enterprise's digital journey.

Mark Raskino and John Mahoney, Gartner

In this context, presence means the ability to project a sense of ease, poise or self-assurance, especially the quality or manner of one’s bearing before peers or an audience. It's also personal appearance or bearing, especially of a dignified or imposing kind.

Raskino and Mahoney list three areas for CIOs to work on:

Behaviour and dressing

Read more: Linda Price of Gartner on a critical CIO focus for 2015: Being a powerful digital leader and influencer

“Dump that 2000s suit, and learn how to impress.” The two recommend getting advice from someone you can trust about the issue. It could be someone from outside the organisation, a personal friend or a business mentor, such as a Gartner EXP partner.

A vision for the digital enterprise

The two recommend creating a communications plan to sell their vision for how digital will create the future for the enterprise and their industry.

Clear ideas and principles

"Declare where you stand on digital, and use this statement as a direction for IT and as a set of values by which to navigate your personal development and your enterprise's digital journey.”

Send news tips and comments to divina_paredes@idg.co.nz

Follow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap

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