CEOs expect the CIO role to change and step up — from IT order taker and delivery leader, to proactive digital agenda setter and business designer.
Gartner says it has observed over the past year how many CIOs who believed they were “doing digital” ended up losing their jobs because their CEOs concluded they were unable to give up enough of the old day job.
Its advice for 2017? “CIOs must let go to grow.”
“CEOs expect the role to change and step up — from IT order taker and delivery leader, to proactive digital agenda setter and business designer,” note Gartner analysts Patrick Meehan and Mark Raskino.
But all leaders will have limited capacity, they add.
“In order to do the new and very expansive kinds of work, you must let go of some of the old IT responsibilities,” they advise. This means letting go of some of the things CIOs have become very good at and which normally occupy most of their time.
“Deal with it by giving away your best and most precious historical duties to others as a gift — to help them develop.”
This way the CIOs can free up a lot of time to learn, grow and influence the digital direction of the organisation.
CIOs must let go to grow
In Gartner’s annual report on CIO New Year’s resolutions, Meehan and Raskino cite ways CIOs can evolve their roles in order to help set industry future direction and company strategy.
First, create a “COO of IT” role and appoint someone to it.
Then, designate two of the CIO’s direct reports as close deputies, delegates andpotential successors.
Third, review the work the CIO was doing in 2014 to 2015. Make sure 75 per cent of this work has now been delegated, they state.
“Prove you have delegated successfully by spending half of your time outside the office with customers, partners, startups, venture capitalists and others who will form your digital business ecosystem,” they conclude.
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