This is the year for CIOs to influence, build closer relationships with board members, and acquire and reshape capabilities beyond the core IT agenda, reports Gartner.
The board is usually staffed with people who are not in the management team, Gartner analysts Mark Raskino and Patrick Meehan point out in the CIO New Year's Resolutions 2016 report.
They note most CIOs have presented to the board but often their ideas and insights seem to fall on deaf ears. Thus, a different approach is needed - taking board members out to breakfast.
“We recommend talking to non-executive board directors singly or in pairs, over time. Don't try to sell specific positions; just offer to help them become better informed about the way technology is changing your industry and your company's opportunity."
Breakfast is often the best time for these meetings as busy non-executives find this more time efficient and ‘non-entrapping’, they state.
Also, do not set a specific agenda, and try to invite one board member each quarter.
Pick up to three digital business skills the company does not have today but which you think it really must gain within the next two years.
Gartner recommends CIOs to commit to three or four of the following actions in the next 12 months:
■ Power map your leadership network: Consider who would you need or want in your network, and why?
■ Link to the top two metrics your CEO and board care about: Revenue, profitability and market share are among the issues CEOs are focused on.
■ Revisit your CMO relationship: To be successful with any digital business initiative, the CIO and CMO both need to collaborate first and foremost as partners in an information business.
■ Develop a business sacrifice list and divest a system every quarter: Start by creating a short private list of business assets that might be sold to fund digital business transformation.
■ Develop a ‘techquisitions’ list: Think of three to five technology-industry-specific areas where your organisation could innovate more.
■ Exploit crowdsourcing more widely: Decide to open areas to crowdsourcing in - and outside - the enterprise.
■ Deliberately cross an organisational boundary line: Pick up to three digital business skills the company does not have today but which you think it really must gain within the next two years.
■ Shift your IT thinking from 'how', and 'what' skills, to 'why', and 'which competencies': Start to value talent for how the way they engage with peers, functioning as sounding boards and collaborators in innovation.
■ Write three to five digital behaviour maxims and make them wallpaper: Decide what the new most important behaviours must be (e.g. ‘iterate wildly’) and place them everywhere so everyone can see and say them everyday.
The report says it is important for CIOs to set aside quality time to visit exhibitions or “play” with new technologies such as Open AI or voice activated personal agents.
“Stretch your imagination — for example, by visiting a video game industry, consumer electronics, drones and robotics, or 3D print manufacturing event.”
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